South Australia’s 2018 state budget has been announced.
Key announcements of interest to the food and beverage industry included:
- Ongoing commitment to industry-government partnership with Food South Australia with $1m annual funding for programs designed to assist industry growth over four years
- Abolition of payroll tax for all small businesses with annual taxable payrolls below $1.5 million and reduction in payroll tax for businesses with payrolls between $1.5 and $1.7m, effective 1 January 2019
- Rationalisation of a range of business development support programs into three new programs:
- Economic and Business Growth Fund ($100m over four years) to attract and support initiatives focused on the introduction of new technologies, capabilities and expertise
- Research, Commercialisation and Start-Up Fund ($27.9m over four years) to support collaboration between business and researchers/universities to solve problems and commercialise new products
- Regional Growth Fund ($150m over ten years) to pursue economic opportunities for regional businesses and communities
- Funding to support the creation of 20,800 apprenticeships and traineeships in South Australia ($202.6m over four years) through Skilling South Australia initiative
- Establishment of a Shanghai Business and Investment Hub with funding of $3.5m over four years and new trade offices in Tokyo, Japan, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and Dubai
- Funding certainty for Regional Development Australia Boards through $12m allocated over four years
- Support for farmers experiencing hardship through waiving of oyster industry fees and funding for rural business support to deliver rural financial counselling and support to apply for assistance programs
- Increased support to biosecurity and quarantine activities to support fruit fly protection
- Funding for the development of a business case for a Riverland Food and Wine Centre
- Commitment to establishment of an International School of Culinary Excellence, Hospitality and Tourism ($30m over period 2020-2022)
- Investment in regional roads through the $315m Regional Roads and Infrastructure Fund over period of forward estimates
- Increased funding to attract major events, grow the state’s visitor economy and national marketing campaigns promoting tourism experiences in Adelaide and the regions
Click here to see the full budget papers.
Although the Food Park attraction program will not continue, there is ongoing commitment to the development of a food precinct at Edinburgh and anyone wishing to know more about this can contact Food South Australia CEO Catherine Sayers at firstname.lastname@example.org or on (08) 8303 9435.
Rationalisation of a wide range of development programs into the three support programs outlined above should result in a clearer path towards assistance for businesses. Certainly the broadening of eligibility criteria for the recently announced South Australian Export Accelerator Program to include sole traders and trusts as well as companies is a good sign for our industry, as according to our research almost half of our sector’s businesses are not operating as companies. Updates on these key programs will be available on the grants page on our website as soon as more information becomes available.
The worth of Food South Australia’s partnership with the State Government to deliver programs to assist industry-wide growth has been amply demonstrated by the outcomes for many businesses who have participated in successful business growth programs, market and capability development programs including international trade shows, inbound and outbound trade activities, professional development activities such as the Food South Australia Summit and best practice tours, the South Australian Food Industry Awards and the consumer-focused Eat Local SA program.
Earlier this year Food South Australia confirmed our industry action plan for 2018-2021, based on extensive research undertaken to identify industry’s own priorities and needs. These are encapsulated in our Framework for Growth Through Innovation, released in late 2017. Food South Australia will continue to advocate for our industry as we work in partnership with the State Government to continue to deliver these key programs.