AIIA welcomes Federal Budget

The Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA) has welcomed the Federal Budget especially tax cuts for depreciation of investments which will be worth $3.7 billion to Australian business over the next four years.

AIIA CEO Rob Durie said overall it was a good budget although initiatives to overcome skills issues were not addressed.

"While we broadly support the government's budgetary initiatives, we however, do have concerns in relation to the lack of initiatives that support building our skills base," he said.

"In particular, much more needs to be done to encourage greater participation by young people in tertiary ICT education if we are to ensure a flow of appropriately skilled people to support an industry which underpins productivity growth in the broader economy.

Durie said key initiatives to assist the ICT industry are:

- The 33 percent increase in the allowable depreciation rate of assets under the uniform capital allowance (UCA), which effectively increases the incentive for Australian businesses to invest in new plant, equipment and technology.

- The establishment of an Early Stage Venture Capital Limited Partnership investment vehicle will assist more Australian companies to commercialize their technology in the local market before stepping up to the world stage.

- Amendments to the operation of Venture Capital Limited Partnerships that provide strong impetus for the commercialization of Australian research and development and will enable Australia to build economic growth through greater public and private investment in innovation and early-stage concepts.

- Further funding of $200 million for the Innovation Investment Fund program.

- An increased commitment to Invest Australia, which will bring total funding of almost $73 million over four years to boost international efforts to further foreign investment in Australian industry.