While the budget delivered last month didn’t propose any game-changers for the Australian machinery industry, it did have some initiatives that could see benefits for manufacturers, dealers and regional businesses.
Firstly, the continuation of the $20,000 instant asset write-off for equipment expenses encourages small business owners to purchase machinery and other agricultural equipment. While we would be happy to see this permanently implemented, seeing it extended for another year – until 30 June 2018 – is a welcome announcement.
The most important element of the budget, that has the potential to impact the machinery industry the most, was the refocused effort on the inland rail project. The projected $20b investment over the coming 10 years will include a dedicated rail freight corridor that aims to provide an alternative method for transport. This should deliver another boost to the regional economy and agri industry, in turn helping to drive demand for equipment. The rail link also means a more streamlined, safer and more efficient way of transporting your heavy machinery up and down the east coast.
It was also great to see a reinvigorated focus on regional Australia, including drought assistance, dairy recovery and water infrastructure. Hopefully these initiatives will help support your clients in their daily operations and give a boost to the sector. A resilient regional Australia will benefit the entire tractor and machinery industry.
In order to build a sustainable industry we must take a vested interest in our economic drivers. I ask that our members continue to reach out to me to voice their concerns and discuss critical issues on their minds, whether they be related to budgets, offshore manufacturing, OEM support or national distribution. Our aim as your peak representative body is to stand for what you believe in, and work for tangible, meaningful change.