Treasurer Curtis Pitt has welcomed Bill Shorten’s long-term vision to create a turbo-charged, knowledge-based Australian economy for the digital age.
Mr Pitt said the federal Opposition’s positive economic agenda outlined in Mr Shorten’s Budget-In-Reply speech was in stark contrast to Joe Hockey’s plodding second Budget.
“Bill Shorten has set a new standard in federal economic policy, outlining his vision to build one of the the smartest and most productive economies in the region and the world,” he said.
“It’s very pleasing to see that Federal Labor has followed in Queensland’s footsteps by introducing a $500 million Smart Investment Fund for venture capital.
“This approach is very similar to our Advance Queensland research fellowships plan and our Business Development Fund that will turn new ideas into commercial realities.
“Along with our Queensland Entrepreneurs of Tomorrow program to help stay-at-home parents develop home-based businesses, these are just the right ingredients to ensure Queenslanders get the best benefit out of the digital age.”
Mr Pitt said like Queensland Labor, Bill Shorten and Federal Labor had a clear plan to drive growth in the small business sector and rebuild confidence.
“We welcome Federal Labor’s fair and fiscally responsible plan to reduce the tax rate for Australian small business from 30 to 25 per cent,” he said.
“This goes above and beyond Joe Hockey’s promised 1.5 per cent rebate for small businesses and it’s exactly what the sector needs to drive growth and create more jobs.
“Queensland Labor is supporting small business through red tape reduction, the lowest payroll tax rate and the highest threshold in mainland Australia.
“Queensland businesses with payrolls under $1.1 million will pay no payroll tax under the Palaszczuk Government.”
Mr Pitt said Federal Labor’s vision to build more infrastructure, better social housing, smart energy grids, efficient irrigation projects and the best digital infrastructure is exactly what was needed to drive long-term economic growth.
“His emphasis on education and investing in knowledge-based industries reflects Queensland Labor’s agenda to build a smarter economy,” he said.
“Like our Federal Labor counterparts, we want Australia to become the science, start-up and technology capital of our region.
“We want to see more home-grown technological breakthroughs and we want to see Queensland businesses harnessing the benefits of this new technology.
“As Mr Shorten said, digital technologies, computer science and coding should be taught in all our schools and we’ll work with the Commonwealth to make that a reality.”
Mr Pitt said Federal Labor’s plan to promote economic growth was not reliant on asset sales, public service cuts or cost-shifting to the States.
“Bill Shorten’s commitment to a truly independent Infrastructure Australia mirrors our commitment to Building Queensland,” he said.
“Mr Shorten has articulated a clear plan to improve the Commonwealth Budget bottom line by more than $21 billion dollars in the decade ahead.
“This can be achieved without the pain Campbell Newman’s one-term LNP government inflicted in just three short years in Queensland.
“Queensland and Australia are on the cusp of building a dynamic new digital economy and it’s only Labor governments that can make that vision a reality.”