Media release 16 June 2021
QSEC responds to the Queensland Budget: Small business, jobs and infrastructure
CLICK HERE Have your say: Member Survey on the Qld Budget
There is a lot to be grateful for in Queensland. While many nations across the globe have reeled from the impacts of COVID -19, Queensland is tracking well, with a better-than-expected economic recovery and strong jobs bounce-back. The latest Queensland budget has responded by boosting funding for jobs, housing, small business, and infrastructure.
However, according to Richard Warner, Queensland Social Enterprise Council (QSEC) President, we should not be complacent.
QSEC represents more than 200 social enterprises and associates; trading businesses that exist to address social, environmental, and cultural inequities.
“While the economic recovery is impressive, vulnerable communities fare much worse in times of crisis and need extra assistance to emerge from it. These positive economic conditions give us that opportunity” Mr Warner said.
Social enterprises, particularly in regional areas, are continuing to see issues arising from a lack of housing security which can negatively impact on job seekers’ ability to take up work. Training and job solutions also need to provide liveable sources of income that meet increased costs of living. Initiatives such as the Government has proposed, improve their reach when they are targeted to the specific needs of disadvantaged job seekers and communities - and this is something social enterprise has a powerful track record in.
“Social Enterprises work to fill the gaps where there is market failure. They are often ‘first responders’, acting with partners and beneficiaries in place-based approaches to unsolved issues. They work collaboratively with communities and local industry to address significant social and environmental problems.” Mr Warner asserted.
“Through the opportunities presented in the 2021 -2025 Queensland State budget, and the $8 million Social Enterprise Jobs Fund, and the recent Skilling Queenslanders for Work announcement, QSEC intends to unlock the potential for social enterprises in Queensland.”
QSEC looks forward to working with Government on the roll-out the Social Enterprise Jobs Fund (SEJF) so that it aligns with these important budget initiatives to help them achieve the greatest possible impact.
Over the budget period QSEC will:
- Advocate for social procurement targets of 1% across government, so that a portion of increased infrastructure spend creates jobs where they are most needed.
- Work with Government to update the Social Enterprise Strategy (SES) so it aligns with budget initiatives.
- Work with Government on the roll out of the Social Enterprise Jobs Fund (SEJF) to build a well-resourced sector that fills a critical gap in the economy.
- Invite consideration of how highly disadvantaged cohorts can be better served, within the already successful Skilling Queenslanders for Work Program and how this program can better synergise with Social Enterprise initiatives.
- Listen to our members and feed these responses back to the Minister for Small Business Employment and Training.
Queensland Budget highlights
$3.34 billion Queensland Jobs Fund to attract investment and industry development, and over $110 billion in infrastructure works.
$350 million Industry Partnership Program providing small and medium enterprises and research institutions in Queensland.
$460 million Skilling Queenslanders for Work and a revitalised Back to Work program over 4 years.
Capital programs worth $52.2 billion to help generate an estimated target of 46,500 direct jobs in 2021–22.
A $100 million Business Investment Fund (BIF) is being managed by Queensland Investment Corporation Limited (QIC) and targets government investments in small- and medium-sized businesses. Investments are expected to be in the range of $2.5 million and $10 million. The first of which are due in mid-2021.
Over 4 years from 2021–22, more than $50 million to boost Domestic and Family Violence victim support services across the state, activities, campaigns and front-line services.
$1 billion Housing Investment Fund to drive new supply to support current and future housing need and $1.9 billion over 4 years to boost housing supply and increase housing and homelessness support across Queensland.
$7.3 million over 4 years and $1.8 million annually to provide support for the former Disability Services clients who are ineligible for services under the National Disability Insurance Scheme.Cost of living concessions will provide more than $6.1 billion for a range of energy rebates, targeted discounts, subsidies, and concessions including ones dedicated to eligible seniors, pensioners, veterans, and low-income families, to lower the costs of water, transport, education and housing
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