McGowan Government’s $100 million payroll tax hike risks skills

The Chamber of Commerce and Industry WA (CCI) is campaigning against the Government’s Payroll Tax Exemption changes because it will jeopardise training in WA – stopping workers from upskilling and retraining at a time when automation and AI is rapidly putting jobs at risk.

Today, CCI hosted an Industry Roundtable with concerned businesses and Members of the Western Australian Parliament to discuss the impact of the proposed changes, including Leader of the Opposition the Hon. Mike Nahan MLA, The Nationals WA MLA Shane Love, Liberal Democrats MLC the Hon. Aaron Stonehouse, Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party MLC Rick Mazza and a representative for One Nation.

We welcome One Nation and the Liberal Democrats joining with the Liberal Party to oppose the Bill.

CCI Chief Executive Officer Chris Rodwell said training is important to WA and CCI is defending it against a bad policy. We need to Save Our Skills.

“The McGowan Government’s solution to fewer and fewer West Australians engaging in training is to increase payroll tax and decrease support for training,” Mr Rodwell said.

“This is not a plan for highly skilled, well-paying WA jobs.

“The Government was elected on the basis of having a plan for jobs. This decision will destroy them because business won’t have the support to upskill.

“If training numbers continue to decline, we will see skills shortages in the very near future.”

This is what business is telling us and the Government needs to listen:

“We have a receptionist who has been our employee since 2008. I was going to give her the opportunity to up-skill to an administrative role in the organisation via a traineeship and complete a Certificate III in Business Administration (Medical). It was also a method of retaining excellent staff. The whole process was put on hold once the announcement was made by the Government.” – Neill Rowlandson, Foster Medical.

“We run many heavy haulage vehicles across WA which means that leadership and management of our employees is essential in not only providing a safe work environment for our employees, but in providing a safe environment for road users across the State. Unfortunately, we will now be hesitant to promote internally as the costs associated with training and development of staff with leadership skills will be a substantial hit to the business.” – Niomi Higgs, MGM Bulk.

“Providing new skills to our existing employees is important to our business’ continued growth and profitability. The impact of this change has been to reduce the number of trainees the business is able to provide training for.” – Geoff Ambrosi, Enduraclad International Pty Ltd.

“Traineeships formed a critical component of our company’s adaptation to the end of the mining boom. Without it, I’m certain more jobs would have been lost and in critical roles needed in the recovery process.” – Sam Hyder, Geographe Enterprises.

“Traineeships are integral to skill development and growth in our industry, WA and Australia as a whole. At a time when business in WA needs assistance it seems ridiculous to put such a restraint in place on primarily the education of our State’s workforce.” – Claire Ireland, High Energy Service Pty Ltd.

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Media contact: Shannen Wilkinson – 0448 928 227

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