The day after handing down the state budget, Treasurer of Victoria Tim Pallas MP spoke to a Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Melbourne Press Club audience, outlining the features of the budget and its impact on business competitiveness, jobs and investment.
The joint event, run for the fourth time this year, provided an exclusive opportunity to engage with the Treasurer. The event also included a lively Q&A session moderated by Seven News State Political Reporter Brendan Donohoe.
Pallas highlighted the government's strong commitment to investing in "ambitious" infrastructure projects in the budget, with a record $13.4 billion being set aside for projects like the North East Link and Melbourne Metro.
Investments like these, he said, helped bolster Victoria's employment levels.
“Since November 2014, more than 450,000 jobs have been created in Victoria, 70% of which are in full time work," he said.
Funding was also funnelled into the education sector, with Pallas confirming seven new schools and promising upgrades to 109, as well as introducing a roll out of a three-year old kinder program across the state.
On the business front, Pallas called regional businesses "big winners" during the government's first term in office and emphasised a continued focus in the area, telling the audience that these businesses can expect savings of around $150 million next year from payroll tax cuts.
Across the board, the payroll tax threshold was bumped up to $700,000, representing an increase of $50,000, to "help these buisnesses continue to grow".
Pallas also marked Victoria's history of "above trend growth" over the previous five years.
"I said it last year and I'm proud to say it again. Victoria's economy is powering the nation."