Business Budget Wishlist | What Queensland businesses will be looking for in Tuesday’s State Budget

Monday 10 June, 2024 | By: Emma Clarke

Genuine, direct commitments to relief from record high costs and compounding pressures are the highest priority for Queensland businesses ahead of tomorrow’s State Budget delivery.

The state’s peak business body has set the business agenda for the FY25 Budget, calling for a series of measures to alleviate day-to-day business pressures and secure long-term business viability in Queensland.

“We’re looking for genuine, direct business support in tomorrow’s budget,” CEO Heidi Cooper said.

“The mounting pressures on business, from day-to-day cost and regulatory constraints, to long-term weak confidence and profitability, cannot be ignored.

“Tomorrow’s budget is the chance for the State Government to demonstrate a genuine commitment to and investment in Queensland businesses.

“We’ll be looking at the budget closely for details which will directly help businesses now, and in the future.”

At the top of the priority list, businesses are looking for investments to create a business friendly state, from reducing regulatory burden to operating cost relief across insurance, disaster recovery, electricity bills and in the transition to a low carbon future.

Support for businesses to grow and diversify their workforces, investment in connectivity, business-enabling infrastructure and housing and incentives for smaller businesses to partner to benefit from government procurement, are also budget priority areas.

“These budget priorities are directly reflective of Queensland businesses’ needs and wants,” Ms Cooper said.

“Business sentiment is weak, profitability and productivity are declining, conditions are tough and confidence is low. It’s hard to be in business.

“Cost of living measures don’t stretch far enough to directly support business, even though businesses are facing the same cost pressures as families.

“Businesses deserve more than lip service on the issues which matter to them and the wider Queensland economy. Calling out an issue is not solving an issue so it’s critical businesses are afforded genuine, direct investments in this budget.”

Business story | The cost of getting it done

Caboolture nursery business, Red Fox Orchids, owner Kurt Ison specialises in orchids and supplies to domestic retail and private markets. He said business costs, regulation barriers and increases in fees and charges were his highest priorities ahead of the State Budget.

“Red tape kills us the most,” he said.

“The paperwork required to import and export really limits what we can do. For us to send our cuttings to Thailand to be cloned is a really restrictive process, an export market is not viable for us.”

Mr Ison said the business imported small plants from Thailand, Taiwan and Europe, but he’d witnessed significant cost increases.

“Those imports need to be inspected when they arrive in the country, that inspection used to be $200, but last year increased to $700. It’s one example of an increase in business fees and costs.

“It costs $2700 in fees, just to get stock from the plane to the car. It has gone up drastically.

“It really impacts business productivity.”

Mr Ison said he’d experienced cost increases across the business – from eftpos, payment and credit card payment fees, to fuel, road tolls and stock. He said cost reform was needed to soften the impact on business profitability.

“It means prices of products have to go up, but they can only go so far. The rest is taken a as a hit to the business which slows cash flow,” he said.

“All supplies have gone up, every pot has a fee on top.

“It’s just the cost of getting anything done.”

Mr Ison said inflation and cost of living pressures had seen a 10 to 15% reduction in sales in the past 12 months.

“It’s straight up cost of living,” he said.

“You’re always hoping things will correct themselves to a degree and cost of living will return to some kind of normality.”


Acknowledgement of Country

Business Chamber Queensland respectfully acknowledges the Traditional Owners and custodians of the lands from across Queensland and the Torres Strait. We acknowledge the Jagera and Turrbal people as the Traditional Custodians of Meanjin (Brisbane), the lands where our office is located and the place we meet, work and learn. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.