The Motor Traders’ Association of New South Wales says the new state budget provided little benefit for the automotive industry, instead focusing on sectors such as health, education, housing, and the continuation of infrastructure projects.
According to the MTA NSW, continued funding of ‘fee-free’ automotive apprenticeships was one of the few positive outcomes for the automotive sector – the NSW Government will again fund apprenticeships via the Smart & Skilled programme, which supports student training with organisations such as the MTA NSW to enter the industry without investing their own money upfront. Apprentices travelling more than 120 kilometres will also be eligible for travel and accommodation funding.
Additionally, the government committed to a comprehensive review of the NSW VET system to address the skills shortage and deficits in the VET sector, with $112 million allocated to cover the TAFE funding shortfall.
Electricity bill relief was also addressed, with small businesses using less than 100 MWh of electricity per year eligible for a one-off payment of $650.
However, the $3,000 rebate on the purchase of new electric vehicles will be scrapped, with the savings generated to help remove barriers to purchasing electric vehicles across the state. These new measures include $263 million earmarked for the expansion of EV charging infrastructure and $10 million in co-funding for kerbside charging ports.
“For the automotive industry, there’s not much on offer,” said the MTA NSW. “We’re pleased the government listened to our advice on the need for additional EV charging infrastructure, but are disappointed it has been funded at the expense of the EV rebate, which we feel is counterintuitive to the government’s commitment for 50 per cent of all new car sales being electric vehicles by 2030.”