The 2022-23 federal Budget is Australia’s plan for a stronger future – and that means a serious commitment to the future-facing industries, technologies and skills that will keep Australia at the forefront of a fast-changing world.
With Australia’s economy now sitting above pre-pandemic levels and ahead of the US, UK, Canada, Germany, France, Japan and Italy, the Government has mapped out a ‘big picture’ pathway, as well as continuing to support businesses and individuals through current challenges.
This spells great news for top-tier businesses and highly talented professionals from overseas who may be looking at new opportunities and incentives available in Australia.
Focus on innovation and technology
Some of the key new initiatives announced in this year’s Budget revolve around innovation, technology and developing the next generation of Australian companies and products. In particular:
- A$1.6 billion to kickstart Australia’s Economic Accelerator program and support research projects with high commercial opportunity
- further funding for the Digital Economy Strategy
- additional grant funding for critical minerals, manufacturing, clean energy and defence
- increased funding for the Medical Research Future Fund to support innovative treatments, advanced health care and medical technology.
For innovative businesses, there was welcome news on the taxation front, with a number of existing tax regimes and programs extended or enhanced. These include:
- ongoing support for the Research & Development Tax Incentive program, which helps companies offset some of the costs associated with R&D
- expanding the patent box tax regime, which supports practical, technology-focused innovations in a range of priority sectors
- supporting Australia’s digital games industry through further expansion of the 30 per cent tax offset.
Australia’s goal to become a top 10 data and digital economy by 2030 has been boosted by extensive funding in the Budget.
As well as significant support for businesses to embrace the digital revolution, the Government will pour more than A$130 million into its Digital Economy Strategy, building on last year’s A$1.2 billion Budget funding and the further A$347 million committed over the past 12 months.
The new strategy initiatives include extending the Government’s cyber hubs pilot, funding for Australia’s quantum computing industry, supporting women to pursue career opportunities in the growing tech workforce and investing in the digitisation of the transport sector, among others.
The Government is also planning to develop a Digital Age Policy that will be used to position Australia as a world leader in regulating the digital economy.
Clean energy and renewables
The Budget reinforces the Government’s commitment to supporting low-emissions technology and infrastructure but adds significant new funding to accelerate economic development in energy-dependent regions.
The Australian Renewable Energy Agency will receive additional funding of more than A$84 million to support increased private sector investment in low-emissions technologies (including hydrogen).
The Government is also providing more than A$50 million in grants to accelerate priority gas infrastructure projects and support investment in carbon capture and storage infrastructure.
Growing Australia’s space sector and space manufacturing industry continues to be a priority, with the Budget allocating A$1.2 billion to enhance our space capability and develop Australian-made satellites.
This includes the establishment of a National Space Mission for Earth Observation – which will see Australia design, build and operate four new satellites – and investment in rocket launch capabilities.
As part of Australia's plan for a stronger future, the Government is focused on keeping Australians safe and secure.
To ensure Australia is well placed to respond to the new strategic challenges of the 21st century, the Government is investing A$575 billion in the nation's Defence Force over the decade to 2029-30, including A$270 billion for defence capability.
Defending Australia from global online threats is another key Government focus, with the Budget delivering the largest-ever investment in Australia’s intelligence and cyber capabilities. The Australian Signals Directorate (ASD) will receive A$9.9 billion for a new package known as REDSPICE (Resilience, Effects, Defence, SPace, Intelligence, Cyber, Enablers).
REDSPICE will see 1,900 new roles created at the ASD over 10 years, with a particular focus on offensive cyber capability, advanced artificial intelligence, machine learning and cloud technology. Additional cyber security, cloud computing and information technology jobs will be created in the private sector.
Research and development
Bringing universities, research organisations and industry together to turn ideas into reality is an important part of the Government’s long-term vision for Australia.
As well as the significant investment in the Economic Accelerator funding program, Australia’s national science agency CSIRO will receive A$150 million to expand its Main Sequence Ventures fund, which invests in deep-tech and frontier technologies.
The Budget also includes funding for a suite of industry PhD and research fellowship schemes, plus A$243 million to support select universities to boost priority research and development.
The Government is transforming Australia's manufacturing sector through its A$2.5 billion Modern Manufacturing Strategy, which includes more than A$1 billion of new investment in the Budget.
Of this, A$500 million of funding will drive growth and innovation for regional manufacturers through a new Regional Accelerator Stream of the Modern Manufacturing Initiative.
The Government is continuing to support the sector to reach its A$100 billion by 2030 ambition with more than A$114 million specifically committed to the agenda.
The Budget focuses significantly on the environment – including carbon, biodiversity and broader landscape restoration, strengthening exports, maintaining biosecurity, developing regional infrastructure, and supporting the prosperity of regional Australia.
Building on the A$388.6 million already committed to reducing waste, the Government is investing a further A$83.1 million in Australia's waste and recycling capabilities.
This includes A$60.4 million to develop new state-of-the-art technologies to improve the reuse of plastics.
A further A$18.2 million will improve awareness of correct recycling techniques and develop a ReMade in Australia scheme to give consumers confidence about the products they are choosing.
In regional Australia, the Government's A$190 million Recycling Modernisation Fund has already funded 30 projects and created more than 250 jobs. An additional A$30.3 million will drive further regional investment in the recycling of plastics, tyres, paper and glass.
The Government is investing A$2 billion into establishing the Critical Minerals Investment Fund. This will help develop Australia’s capability to produce these vital resources for global supply chains.
With the reopening of Australia's border to international tourists, the Government is kick starting the tourism recovery with the release of its THRIVE 2030 strategy and a A$60 million Tourism Marketing Recovery Plan.