The export sector ignored again in the 2012 budget

The export sector ignored again in the 2012 budget article image

It should come as no surprise, said Ian Murray, executive director of the Export Council of Australia, that the budget had nothing of major significance for small business and absolutely nothing specifically for the exporter. The most appropriate word to describe it, he said, would be underwhelmed. From an SME perspective, the loss carry-back scheme may appeal to a few but does nothing to help profitable businesses grow or help unincorporated small businesses. It certainly goes nowhere near the anticipated one percent reduction in the corporate tax rate. So in comes the carbon tax in July and corporate Australia essentially gets no real offsets. Murray said, "We are starting to think that exporting is a dirty word. The budget gave nothing to exporters despite the high dollar, the GFC, high interest rates, high labour costs and continued high trade facilitation costs all of which are killing Australia’s competitiveness. "Someone has forgotten that export is 22 percent of GDP and one job in five is export related. And let’s not get carried away with the rhetoric that resources will carry us through. The resources sector does not employ that many people and what is more Australia needs a broad based skills set and a diversified export sector for future growth and moreover for survival. That demands a Government with a vision for the future," Murray said. All we seemed to have ended up with is reduced resources for the agencies that support the drive to build Australia’s exports. While Export Market Development Grants recipients will probably receive a 100 percent payout for 2011/12 this probably results more from the reduced benefits introduced to the scheme in 2011 and companies holding back on their overseas marketing expenditure than from the $150 million cap being set at just the right level. "While nobody really expected an increase in EMDG, one would have thought the Government could have brought the second tranche payment forward given that the money is fully allocated and the scheme fully funded. And would it not have provided the Government with some positive news, for a change, for a struggling sector," Murray said. It’s about time that exporters were given greater encouragement to do what they do best and build Australia’s presence in overseas markets. With many international markets in disarray, it is more important than ever that your international trade team are properly skilled and resourced. Take advantage of an export or import course that covers all the latest developments in international trade, with a focus on correct procedures and documentation. And with nothing in the budget for business, we would like to offer all course bookings paid from now until the 15th May a $50 Myer shopping voucher ($25 for on-line courses). For details on upcoming courses go to the Education pages on or email


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