The Federal Government said the 2015 Budget is focused on increasing job opportunities and helping small businesses innovate and grow.

From 1 July this year, small companies with annual turnover of less than $2 million will have their tax lowered from 30 per cent to 28.5 per cent.

Unincorporated businesses will get an annual 5 per cent tax discount of up to $1,000, and small businesses will also be able to immediately deduct new assets up to the value of $20,000 (the current threshold is $1,000).

The government also announced that there are a range of other measures that will cut red tape and encourage entrepreneurship.

Treasurer Joe Hockey said the goal was to assist more than 2 million small businesses invest more, grow more and employ more.

Alongside the welcome tax cuts for small businesses, which will benefit timber merchants, fabricators, suppliers, retailers and saw millers, the budget also includes schemes to ensure the longevity of employment, particularly among Australia’s youth population.

Wage subsidies for employers, funding for annual work experience programs, youth employment strategies and a renewed focus on shifting job seekers into work, were all announced as immediate outcomes for Australian businesses as a result of the implementation of the 2015-2016 Budget plan.

Colin Fitzpatrick, Chief Executive Officer for the Timber and Building Materials Association (TABMA), said the response to the budget from TABMA members and the industry was positive.

TABMA said it also welcomed the Budget’s Youth Employment Strategy, which includes;

  • A $212 million Transition to Work programme commencing January 1, 2016, to help disengaged young people (aged between 15 to 21) who are at risk of long term welfare dependence to find employment or take up an apprenticeship or traineeship;
  • A further $106 million will be available in intensive support for migrants, parents and those experiencing mental illness who might be at risk of long term unemployment;
  • A $14 million early school leaver policy to improve the prospects of early school leavers by ensuring they are either working or studying; and,
  • $18 million to enable approximately 6,000 job seekers annually to undertake work experience of up to 25 hours per week for 4 weeks while continuing to receive income support. Employers who then elect to offer a young person paid employment will then be eligible to access wage subsidies of up to $6,500 over a 12 month period.

The Victorian Association of Forest Industries (VAFI) Chief Executive Officer Tim Johnston said that VAFI applauded the budget and its support of the timber and forestry industry.

“VAFI welcomes the federal budget commitments that support the forestry industry Australia wide…But despite these broader budget measures, there were no strong commitments nor direct investment in the future of the forest and wood products industry from either the Federal or State Government,” he said.

“What our industry needs from Government, both State and Federal, is clarity of decisions around the future of the forest and wood products industry in this country. Forward estimates and four year time horizons do not do sufficient justice to the investment, employment provided, and level of patience required to succeed and prosper in our industry,” he concluded.To read more about the 2015 Budget and how it may affect your business, go online to