The Australian Government has released its Budget 2023-24. It commits significant funding to support overseas businesses expanding into key industries in Australia, including renewable energy, critical minerals, and the digital economy.
Powering net zero industries
The Australian Government has a plan to make Australia a renewable energy superpower. The 2023-24 Budget outlines plans to deploy over A$40 billion towards this ambition:
- Powering Australia with clean, cheap energy, with a A$23 billion commitment to growing and modernising our electricity grid, supporting electrification, and accelerating private investment in renewable generation and storage.
- Powering net zero industries, jobs and communities, with a A$17 billion commitment to capturing opportunities in hydrogen, critical minerals, and upstream industries.
These commitments create significant opportunities for companies looking to expand into Australian renewables, hydrogen and new energy industries. Some of our major projects are listed below.
The Australian Government’s A$20 billion Rewiring the Nation program will unlock investment in Australia’s electricity grid. As part of this program, this Budget allocates over A$12 billion to priority transmission projects, including:
- A$1 billion towards Tasmania’s Battery of the Nation projects.
- A$1.5 billion towards Renewable Energy Zones and offshore wind in Victoria.
- A$4.7 billion to unlock critical transmission in New South Wales.
Generation and storage
The Australian Government recommitted to a national Capacity Investment Scheme. This scheme will unlock at least A$10 billion of new investment and 6GW of dispatchable power by de-risking investments in priority generation and storage projects. It will complement existing state and territory schemes to help ensure Australia has an ongoing supply of cheap, renewable, domestically produced energy, regardless of global conditions.
Building critical minerals industries
Australia’s large critical mineral reserves offer opportunities to invest in the renewable technologies needed for the net zero transition. This includes electric vehicles and wind turbines.
The 2023-24 Budget includes A$80 million to support Australia’s critical minerals sector. As part of this, the Australian Trade and Investment Commission (Austrade) will receive A$6.7 million over four years to help businesses find early-stage critical minerals opportunities in Australia.
The Australian Government is also investing A$57.1 million to develop Critical Minerals International Partnerships to secure strategic and commercial partnerships. For example, Australia and Japan signed a Critical Minerals Partnership in 2022 to help build secure supply chains for critical minerals.
To find out more about Australia’s critical minerals opportunities, visit https://www.globalaustralia.gov.au/industries/net-zero/critical-minerals.
Hydrogen and new energy industries
The Australian Government has committed to the A$2 billion Hydrogen Headstart program, which will accelerate large-scale renewable hydrogen projects. Australia already has the largest pipeline of renewable hydrogen projects in the world. Hydrogen Headstart will bridge the commercial gap for early-stage projects, and position Australia to be a world leading hydrogen producer and exporter. The Australian Government will also provide A$38.2 million to establish a Guarantee of Origin scheme, which will enable exporters to verify emissions of products and certify renewable electricity.
Powering Australia Industry Growth Centre
The Australian Government is providing A$14.8 million to establish the Powering Australia Industry Growth Centre, which will support Australian businesses looking to manufacture, commercialise and adopt renewable technologies. This is in addition to the up to A$3 billion allocated to investment in low emissions technologies, including green metals, under the National Reconstruction Fund.
Establishing the Net Zero Authority
This Budget funds the establishment of a Net Zero Authority to help guide Australia’s net zero transformation. The Authority will work across all levels of government and with workers, regional communities and First Nations people. It will help smooth the changes as Australia moves to a clean energy economy. The Authority will also help investors and companies to engage with net zero transformation opportunities.
To find out more about Australia’s opportunities in renewable energy and other net zero industries, visit https://www.globalaustralia.gov.au/industries/net-zero.
Growing Australia’s critical technology industries
Investing in Australian quantum and responsible artificial intelligence (AI)
The Australian Government has allocated A$101.2 million over 5 years to support businesses to integrate quantum and AI technologies into their operations. The new investment will increase local capacity and capability, and drive uptake of these priority technologies in Australia. As part of this commitment, A$19.8 million will be used to establish an Australian Centre for Quantum Growth. This will support research and development of a quantum technology industry in Australia.
The Australian Government has also committed A$41.2 million to support the responsible deployment of AI in the national economy. The investment includes launching the A$17 million Responsible AI Adopt Program. This program will fund eligible businesses to run a centre to support small to medium enterprises (SMEs) without AI expertise to adopt AI technologies. This will help SMEs maintain or improve competitiveness in interstate or international markets. Grants of A$3 million to A$5 million will be available.
To find out more about investment opportunities in Australia’s critical technologies, visit https://www.globalaustralia.gov.au/industries/digitech.
Modernising Australia’s industrial base
$15bn National Reconstruction Fund takes shape
The Australian Government has also committed A$61.4 million to support the establishment and operation of the National Reconstruction Fund Corporation. This Corporation is an independent board that will administer the A$15 billion National Reconstruction Fund to invest in projects across priority areas that diversify and transform Australian industry:
- renewables and low emissions technologies
- medical science
- value-add in agriculture, forestry, and fisheries
- value-add in resources
- defence capability
- enabling capabilities.
Visit the Global Australia website for more information about investment opportunities in Australia. You can also contact an Austrade Investment Specialist in your region.