Sustainability, mental health, re-skilling and other Federal Budget wins
Businesses have been afforded a range of commitments in the areas of sustainability, mental health support, internet connectivity and workforce re-skilling in the Federal Budget.
Timely commitments to the national business sector are essential to support businesses to maintain day-to-day productivity and thrive long term.
Mental health and wellbeing:
$15.1 million to extend small business mental health and financial counselling
The budget contained some commitments to businesses needs, especially timely support for mental health. Mental health and wellbeing support is among the most significant concerns for Queensland businesses in the future with up to 70% expecting moderate to critical impacts on their long-term operations
Transition to net-zero economy and sustainable business:
$1.9 billion Powering the Regions fund to help regional industries decarbonise.
Supporting Queensland businesses to progress their sustainability and resilience journeys will provide both competitive advantages for the state, as well as alleviate the external environmental impacts on the state’s economy.
$62.6 million to support SMEs in improving their energy efficiency.
Business operating costs are consistently high and among the top 10 constraints on business growth. A commitment to support SMEs in improving their energy efficiency is welcome.
Availability of high speed internet connection:
$2.4 billion expansion of the NBN over the next four years
CCIQ’s Future of Work Report found while Queensland businesses were conscious of emerging trends in digitalisation and e-commerce, the majority of businesses were facing widespread barriers of infrastructure limitations to support high-speed internet connections.
The concern regarding high-speed internet connection is critical across regional Queensland, but is also a significant concern for businesses in South East Queensland, so a commitment to expand the NBN is encouraging.
Reskilling and re-training:
$1 billion for the Future Made in Australia plan, including 180,000 fee-free TAFE places and $485 million for up to 20,000 new university places plus $12bn over 5 years on National Skills Agreements with the states. Migration will also increase by 35,000 places.
A commitment to additional fee-free TAFE and vocational education places in industries with skills shortages, such as tourism and hospitality, alongside an increase in skilled migration, plus an increase in housing availability will help alleviate impacts on businesses brought about from the ongoing labour force crisis.
Paid parental leave will increase from 20 to 26 weeks by July 1 2026
The Future of Work Report also found paid parental leave for all workers was likely to have moderate to critical impacts on 55% of businesses work life offering in the future.
Paid parental leave will increase from 20 to 26 weeks which is likely to support workforce participation and further ease the impact of labour shortages.
Olympic and Paralympic Games:
$24.7 million over 12 years to support the preparation and conduct of the 2032 Brisbane Olympic and Paralympic Games.
This is an exciting time for Queensland businesses with a decade of opportunities ahead, especially the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games which a funding commitment was made towards in the Federal Budget to support preparations.