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Local Labor MP's seek payroll tax waiver for UOW

July 06, 2020

Local Labor MP’s have put forward a request to the NSW Treasurer to waive payroll tax for the University of Wollongong in a move that could save around 160  jobs as the University struggles financially due to the impact of COVID-19.

The economic crisis has hit the University of Wollongong extremely as they attempt to fill a revenue shortfall of around $90 million this year and close to a projected $300 million over the next few years.

The University of Wollongong is more than just a world class tertiary institution, it is a key economic driver for our community and it is absolutely imperative that all possible action is taken to reduce the job losses and the devastating impact they would have on the entire region.

Shadow Minister for the Illawarra, Ryan Park, said that the ongoing financial stability of the University of Wollongong was an issue beyond politics and he was pleased that the Government had met local Labor MP’s on a number of occasions to try and progress this matter.

“Just like we did with Bluescope 5 years ago when they faced enormous economic challenges that were not of their own doing, all of us are prepared to work with the Treasurer and the Government to try and secure the financial support the University desperately needs right now,” he said.

“We have had a number of productive conversations with the Treasurer and his office and I am pleased that they are prepared to examine the waiving of payroll tax for the University. Whilst no decision has been made we intend to continue to advocate for this measure because it’s critical that we protect as many jobs as possible,” he said.

Member for Wollongong, Paul Scully, said that the University of Wollongong makes a multi-billion contribution to the NSW economy and employs people from Liverpool to the Victorian border.

“The employment multiplier means that more than 10,000 people are directly and indirectly supported by the University’s operations.

“The Berejiklian Government has not exhausted many of its stimulus measures so some of those funds could be re-allocated to supporting payroll tax relief that will work together with any sacrifices that staff will make”, he said.

Member for Shellharbour, Anna Watson, said that the people of her electorate not only rely on the world class education that is on offer at the University but many of them are employed in roles throughout UOW.

 

“During this economic crisis the community expect their elected representatives to be doing everything they can to protect local jobs and that’s exactly what this measure would achieve if the NSW Government was to agree to it,” she said.

 

“The economic consequences of the axing of potentially up to 350 jobs is simply too great to imagine and that is why we intend to fight as hard as we can to ensure the University can get through this challenging period and staff can keep their jobs” she said.

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