CANBERRA, AUSTRALIA—The 2016-17 Federal budget is largely positive for SIBA, the Spatial Industries’ leading association.
SIBA Chairman, Glenn Cockerton welcomed the budget but reiterated SIBA’s call for a stronger, public commitment to the procurement of Australian services and products and more collaborative co-investment to drive faster growth in the new knowledge economy.
For a number of SIBA members one of the key outcomes of the budget is the announcement that Government will spend nearly $3 billion on infrastructure. In addition, Mr Cockerton is pleased to see that more of our small to medium business members will benefit from the tax cut to apply from July 1 this year, with the Company Tax rate reduced to 27.5 per cent building on the cut announced last year for businesses turning over less than $2 million, now $10 million.
Mr Cockerton acknowledged that “These reductions to the Company Tax rate will help make our members more competitive internationally. SIBA is pleased the Federal Budget 2016 does not contain any changes to the R&D Tax Incentive as this provides much needed stability to innovative member businesses.”
The Spatial Industry is a major disruptor of change and the spatial industries will become a major employer in a new generation of jobs. Developments in previously disjointed fields such as artificial intelligence and machine-learning, drones (RPAs), cube-sats, autonomous vehicles, 3-D printing, spatial gamification and other spatial technologies, will cause widespread disruption not only to traditional business models but also to labour markets over the next five years, with enormous change predicted in the skill sets needed to thrive in the new landscape.
The Government’s new initiative, the Youth Jobs PaTH program, will provide $752 million to get people under 25 and currently on employment benefits trained to enter the workforce, potentially providing opportunities for SIBA member businesses to employ and train interns.
SIBA also identified the increase in defence spending as a positive to the spatial industries. The Government will grow the Defence budget to 2 per cent of GDP by 2020-21, three years earlier than originally planned. Cockerton emphasised “Spatial technologies now underpin every stage in crisis management, and virtualisation and gamification has become the norm at all stages of development.“