Retailers welcome Queensland budget cost-of-living measures, call for support for struggling small businesses

Australia’s peak retail body, the Australian Retailers Association (ARA), has welcomed the Queensland State Budget’s suite of measures to address the cost-of-living crisis, but highlighted a lack of support for small businesses doing it tough.

The major cost-of-living announcements include:
•     The state government will spend $150m to make all public transport journeys just 50 cents.
•     Vehicle registration costs will be slashed by 20 per cent for 5.7 million car owners for the next 12 months.
•     All government fees and charges – including the cost of a driver’s license – will be frozen.
•     A $1000 discount on electricity bills for families under an expanded energy rebate scheme.

ARA CEO Paul Zahra said the measures will alleviate some pressure for struggling households, with flow-on benefits for the retail sector.

“While the measures announced in the Queensland Budget won’t solve the cost-of-living crunch, they will provide some much-needed temporary relief for households – which could flow through to the retail sector.

Mr Zahra said the ARA is disappointed there weren’t further measures in place to support struggling small and medium sized retailers.

“It’s very difficult for businesses right now, particularly smaller retailers. They’re simultaneously dealing with rising costs across the board and reduced spending.

“We welcome further funding for the previously announced Queensland Small Business Strategy, which will provide grants and funding for small businesses – and would have liked to see more initiatives in this space.”

The ARA also expressed disappointment that the Queensland Government opted against including additional funding for road and transport resilience funding.

“After multiple natural disasters, the Queensland supply chain remain fragile and susceptible to disruption. We are advocating that governments invest substantially in supply chain resilience, to help address the more frequent and severe impacts of climate change,” said Mr Zahra.

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