The South Australian Government is set to pump $200 million into a new jobs fund that will see a surge in investment within the local IT sector.
The state government, which handed down its 2017-18 Budget on 22 June, said it had invited the Federal Government to match its $200 million commitment to a Future Jobs Fund.
The state's Future Jobs Fund is aimed at attracting new businesses to South Australia and support local industries to grow.
The funds will be used to develop jobs in key sectors that include IT and advanced manufacturing.
As part of this $200 million fund, it will be offering $120 million in grants and loans, specifically $50 million in grants and $70 million in low interest loans to business for job creation.
The SA Government said that expressions of interest for the grants are now open, with the applications for business case funding to close on 14 July and applications for grants and loans close on 29 September.
Further, $60 million has been allocated towards additional resources to attract new inward investment in “key industries”.
The additional investment of $30 million in grant funding and $30 million in loans aim to promote job creation, capital investment, construction jobs and increased economic activity.
As part of its latest Budget, the SA Government has indicated that a payroll tax cut for small business will be extended and locked in at a cost of $45.1 million over four years.
A small business rate of 2.5 per cent will apply to firms with payrolls between $600 000 and $1 million, then phase up to the general rate of 4.95 per cent for payrolls above $1.5 million.
In the budget papers, the government said that this has been extended to small businesses as medium and bigger businesses already pay lower payroll tax in almost all other states and territories.
In addition, $2.9 million has been set allotted to extend Gig City to new precincts. This is in addition to $4.7 million that was given in the last budget.
Gig City is a plan to make Adelaide one of the most connected cities. The network rolled out aims to connect key innovation precincts across Adelaide with fast broadband speeds of one gigabit per second, and up to 10-gigabits per second, if businesses invest in additional technology.
Parts of the previous budget were reiterated, such as the $109 million for the Job Accelerator Grant Scheme that will see the creation of around 14,000 full-time equivalent positions and $36.4 million towards attracting business to South Australia.
In addition, the budget also identified $650 million towards education, of which $250 million will go towards a program to redevelop 139 schools in the delivery of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education.
“This careful stewardship has given the state the capacity to cut hundreds of millions of dollars in business taxes and incentivise investment… It has given us the financial strength to boost the campaign to create jobs,” Treasurer, Tom Koutsantonis, said.
“A new Future Jobs Fund will build on measures in recent budgets which have underpinned continual jobs growth despite pressures from the closure of automotive manufacturing and constrained international markets for mining and energy commodities.
“This budget focuses on the core values of this government — jobs, health, education and neighbourhoods,” he added.
However, the SA Government’s investment into ICT pales in comparison to budgets of some other states.
The New South Wales Government, announced on 20 June that it has committed more than $1 billion to a variety of IT projects, while the Queensland Government, announced on 14 June, that it has invested $40 million solely towards digital transformation.