HVIA welcomes Budget 2022 skills announcements

Heavy Vehicle Industry Australia has commended the Government’s focus on jobs, skills and training in the 2022 Budget announced last night.

HVIA CEO Todd Hacking said the Budget offered business encouragement to take on new apprentices and to upskill existing workers.

“There is a lot in this budget for our members to work with,” Mr Hacking said.

“Our industry is in desperate need of new skilled workers and these initiatives are designed ramp up the pipeline of apprentices that underpin our future workforce.

“There are also focused initiatives in there towards training existing workers to ensure they are equipped with the skills to be a part of the next phase in our industry’s exciting future.

“For instance, we are looking at the skillsets and training that out workforce needs to service a fleet that will be progressively dominated by battery electric and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.

“We also welcome an increase in allocated places for skilled migration, which our industry needs desperately to fill current vacancies in the workforce.

Broad range of measures affecting heavy vehicle industry

“Tonight’s announcements have some welcome investment opportunities for small business and some announcements that reflect the evolving needs of the workforce including a more flexible approach to maternity leave.”

“The relief at the bowser through a temporary reduction in fuel excise will not only make a big difference to fleet operators, the impact will make a difference all the way down the supply chain.

Roads and infrastructure investment remain an absolute priority if we are to improve safety and productivity.

“The Government has recognised that by investing in our national network, supported by a program to build bridges that will enable the safest, most productive vehicles into regional areas.”

Assistant Minister for Road Safety and Freight Transport, Scott Buchholz MP, also confirmed that the instant asset write-off will continue.

“In keeping with our strong support for the sector, we also confirm tonight the temporary full expensing measure to 30 June 2023, which strengthens business investment and creates more jobs,” Mr Buchholz said.

2022 Federal election priorities

Mr Hacking pointed out the Budget comes just weeks before the next Federal election.

“Our wish-list extends far beyond the announcements we have seen today,” Mr Hacking said. “We will be making a series of policy announcements over coming weeks with actionable requests for the next term of Government.”

Mr Hacking said the heavy vehicle industry plays a key role in building Australia’s resilience for current and future challenges.

“Our members represent one of Australia’s great manufacturing sectors – they are innovators revered worldwide,” he said.

“Australia has been through a lot in the last several years, from drought to bushfires, floods and the pandemic.

“On top of that you can add global tensions that set off the supply chain issues before the war in Ukraine, not to mention the obvious economic ramifications of that.

“We all have things in perspective when we are talking about these issues, however it does highlight how vital it is that we prioritise improving our nations resilience.

“The heavy vehicle industry has been there to see Australians through these difficult times – doing everything required of us to keep Australia moving.

“The fuel price has hit hard on top of the AdBlue crisis that threatened to ground our transport fleets over Christmas.

“But we demonstrated that through initiative and collaboration we can get through these difficult times and come out the other end in a better position.

“This is a turning point and an opportunity that we cannot let slip through our hands.

“Through the right policy settings, and committed leadership, the next few years will not only secure our energy future, but set is on a path for zero emissions.

“It will also see tens of thousands of Australians employed in diverse range of occupations ranging from trades to engineering, but all influenced by a rapidly developing frontier of emerging technologies.

“The Government’s 2022 Budget has laid some very good groundwork for what lays ahead.

“Now we need to work with them to develop the next steps, ready for implementation during the next term of Government.”

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