Moody’s, and Standard and Poor’s ratings have recognised the Victorian economy’s health, and the state which has contributed 40 per cent of all full-time jobs created in Australia with a triple AAA rating.
According to previous reports by the state government of Victoria, manufacturing has continued to support jobs and economic growth in Victoria, with the industry worth $27.7 billion to the almost $400 billion state economy and employing 288,000 people.
The credit agencies have given the Andrews government a vote of confidence, maintaining Victoria’s AAA rating, despite drops in revenues from stamp duty as the property market softens. The announcement from the credit agencies follows Premier Daniel Andrews handing down the Victorian 2019/2020 budget on Tuesday.
As part of the 2019/2020 budget, the state government has announced tax relief for businesses to enable the economy to continue to grow. Growth is currently projected at 2.75 per cent for the next four years.
Treasurer Tim Pallas has committed to lifting the payroll tax-free threshold to $700,000 by 2022/23. This is an increase of $50,000 on the current threshold.
“Our responsible economic management means businesses will continue to invest in our state, creating more jobs and opportunities for Victorians,” said Pallas.
In growing the state economy, the Victorian government has focussed on creating manufacturing jobs. Launched in late 2017, the Advancing Victorian Manufacturing — A Blue Print for the Future strategy aims to help small to medium businesses grow, innovate and capture new market opportunities while strengthening the local supply chain and finding export opportunities for Victorian companies.
In 2018, the Victorian government supported the Automotive Innovation Lab with the Australian Automotive Aftermarket Association. The lab offers 3D scanning and printing, technology transfer and Computer Aided Design services, helping to create more than 600 jobs in the automotive aftermarket manufacturing sector.
In Geelong, the former Ford Motor manufacturing site has been repurposed to assemble wind turbine components. A partnership between Danish manufacturer Vestas and Victorian firm Marand, the facility employs more than 20 employees and is responsible for the assembly of 100 turbine hubs and 50 drive trains for the 180MW Berrybank Wind Farm and the 336MW Dundonnell Wind Farm.
In April, the new fleet of X’Trapolis trains began production, supporting the employment of 65 people at Alstom’s Ballarat workshop. These trains are being built with higher local content as part of the Andrews’s government focus on retaining manufacturing in Victoria.
These projects, in addition to private investment in Victoria’s manufacturing sector, which in 2018 was over $1.6 billion, contributed to the positive jobs and economic outlook in the state, which was confirmed by the two credit agencies yesterday.
“We’re maintaining Victoria’s triple-A rating as we get on with delivering the major projects and services our growing state needs,” said Pallas.