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These leaders are at the forefront of innovation and development within their field, striving to improve not only their own business, but our city’s prosperity as a whole. Our BDAmbassadors will bring you regular updates on the latest news, advances and continuous improvements within their industries. This issue we speak with finance ambassador Greg Peel and employment ambassador Ged Welsh.

Greg Peel – Partner – PVW Partners

An interesting time of year for those in business. Federal budget, individual business budgeting, and of course, tax planning for end of financial year.

This year we have the backdrop of improving business conditions and confidence as shown by our PVW Partners Business Confidence Survey and also anecdotally.

Our last quarter Business Confidence Survey showed the biggest spike in Business Confidence since the survey began nearly 30 years ago.

Why? A good question with no precise answer, but a little bit of positive progress goes a long way. Examples of this are the stadium coming out of the ground and a nearly full dam. On top of this, many Townsville businesses are reporting better bottom lines and a better view of the way ahead.

It will be interesting to see how this holds up in what is shaping to be a Federal Election year.

Elections bring with them the promise of funding and largesse during the campaigns whilst at the same time providing uncertainty as to outcomes and the way forward. It is not uncommon for confidence to take a hit before and after an election period.

The topic of taxation rates is a big election issue and also a major feature of the recent budget. The opposition has also weighed in and the selling of the various proposals will come in earnest over coming months. The Government’s case for a flat tax rate of 34.5% for incomes

between $41,000 and $200,000 will have a lot of appeal for individuals (albeit over a long term i.e. from 1 July 2024) whilst company tax rates down to 27.5 for businesses up to $50 million turnover is attractive to business.

The federal budget was notably quiet on the issue of infrastructure spending for the regions.

Hopefully the election campaign may see some better traction in this area in coming months.

With business confidence and conditions and the recent taxation relief and incentives, now is a great time to revisit business strategy to maximise outcomes for the years ahead.

Ged Welsh – Regional Director, North QLD – HAYS

Throughout the current financial year, North Queensland has seen a notable increase in consumer confidence, leading to a strong and growing jobs market. The recovery of the mining industry has driven staffing demand, with improved commodity prices and optimism leading to more jobs in the industry.

Increased government investment in the civil construction industry and the announcement of several other major projects is further adding to vacancy activity.

Today, both temporary and permanent jobs are available for trades and skilled professionals alike. We’re seeing consistent demand in these areas for experienced and skilled people in senior finance, technical trades and engineering. The picture is pretty positive in terms of vacancy activity for skilled professionals.

The increase in vacancy activity has highlighted the region’s skills gap though, particularly in engineering, technical trades and senior finance. This has seen competition grow for local professionals, which has led to salary increases as employers struggle to secure top talent.

The challenge for employers now is to attract suitably skilled professionals to the region – or in some cases, back to the region after finding work elsewhere during the mining industry’s downturn. Townsville needs to do more to attract experienced skilled professionals to the region, particularly since we expect to see continued strong jobs growth over the next few years.

Already some employers are offering relocation packages and other benefits including regional living allowances to professionals with skills in short supply locally.

Employers also need to review their retention strategy and consider if they can upskill existing employees to fill emerging skill gaps.



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