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Budget 2018 - New opportunities and jobs for Australian industry

8 May 2018

The Turnbull Government is investing in a stronger economy by backing business to create more and better paying jobs across Australia.

We need our small and medium enterprises to be fast adopters of technology in order to stay globally competitive and grow.

The Government is supporting these businesses by reducing taxes for small and medium enterprises and targeting incentives to promote research, development and new technology.

We are also investing in critical research infrastructure to help Australian businesses – both existing and new – embrace technology so they can invest and grow, increase exports and create jobs.

We also need to support Australians most affected by our transitioning economy by providing opportunities for them to acquire the skills that will equip them for future opportunities and jobs.

Investment in science and technology increases productivity, leading to more and better paying jobs and makes Australian businesses more globally competitive.

Investing in Science and Technology

The Government will invest approximately $2.4 billion in growing Australia’s research, science and technology capabilities.

This includes: additional funding for national research infrastructure; the Australian Technology and Science Growth Plan that will deliver cutting edge digital infrastructure; more opportunities to skill our workforce; a new space agency; and measures to boost our export potential.

These investments support the creation of new ideas, encourage commercial opportunities, and underpin successful businesses and new jobs.

Smarter infrastructure that supports research, business investment and creates jobs

The Turnbull Government is investing an additional $1.9 billion in Australia’s National Research Infrastructure (NRI) over 12 years from 2017-18, ensuring our world-leading researchers and innovative businesses have tools to develop and commercialise first-to-market products and services.

This infrastructure will support the creation of new businesses, generating more employment opportunities. It will also assist in advancing Australia’s traditional industries, improving efficiencies and making them more competitive – essential to our long-term economic prosperity.

Technological breakthroughs from WiFi to Gardasil have roots in our globally recognised research infrastructure. This funding will ensure ground-breaking research continues and that researchers and industry have greater access to cutting-edge facilities.

Taking local businesses global

The Turnbull Government’s investment in knowledge and infrastructure will help create great ideas, but we are also increasing access to global markets to maximise the benefit to Australia.

The Taking Local Businesses Global initiative will help businesses to maximise opportunities – using their resources, skills and networks to improve their productivity and grow exports and jobs.

It includes:

  • $20.0 million to help Australian small-to-medium enterprises form local and regional business hubs so they can work together and access new export markets and global supply chains. The Government will also extend funding for the current Industry Growth Centres by two years, enabling them to build on their initial success.
  • $20.0 million to support global opportunities for Australian business, entrepreneurs and researchers in Asia and further abroad, as well as extending the Australia-India Strategic Research Fund to foster collaboration.
  • $29.9 million to develop the artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities of Australian businesses and workers. This will include funding for Cooperative Research Centre Projects with a focus on artificial intelligence, and a national ethics framework to address standards and codes of conduct for adopting such technology in Australia.

Refocusing the Research and Development Tax Incentive

The Turnbull Government will refocus the Research and Development Tax Incentive (R&DTI) for larger companies to give more assistance to those that invest a higher proportion of their spending in R&D. We will ensure that taxpayer support for the R&DTI is fiscally affordable and crack down on R&D tax claims that push the boundaries of the R&DTI, with enhanced integrity, enforcement and transparency arrangements.

Kick-starting Australia’s space industry

The Turnbull Government is investing more than $300 million to kick-start Australia’s space industry and develop world-leading core satellite infrastructure.

To help our businesses win a greater share of the US$345 billion global space market, we are establishing the first Australian Space Agency with funding of $41.0 million over the next four years. This funding includes $15.0 million dedicated to partnering with international space agencies to enable Australian businesses to compete in the global space economy.

Space technologies are not just about taking people to the moon, they underpin the long-term competitiveness of many other industries, including communication, agriculture, mining, oil and gas.

This investment is just one part of the Government’s plan to create new high-growth opportunities in Australia, create new industries and long-term, high-wage, high-skill jobs.

We are also investing more than $260.0 million to develop world-leading core satellite infrastructure and technologies, including better GPS for Australian business and regional Australians and improved access to satellite imagery.

Further details on this element of the announcement can be found in the Budget media release of the Minister for Resources and Northern Australia, Senator the Hon Matt Canavan.

Job opportunities for Australians

Our stronger economy is creating jobs at record levels, but we must ensure all Australians have the opportunity to participate.

The 2018­-19 Budget provides older Australians with additional support to assess their skills and adapt to the changing needs of the economy.

The Government understands the importance of working with employers to ensure they understand the benefits of recruiting and retaining mature age people.

Older Australians will be supported by the Government’s More Choices for a Longer Life package, with an investment of $189.7 million on a range of jobs and skills measures such as:

  • Increasing the number of mature age Australians in the workforce through additional Restart wage subsidies ($1.1 million) and bringing forward the national rollout of the Career Transition Assistance program to 1 July 2019 ($136.4 million).
  • A Skills and Training Incentive ($19.3 million) will help mature age Australians enhance their skills and explore new career opportunities. It will be complemented by the introduction of the Skills Checkpoint for Older Workers by the Minister for Education and Training, Senator the Hon Simon Birmingham.
  • The $15.2 million Job Change initiative will support mature-age workers who are facing retrenchment by providing them with information about career options.
  • Expanding the Entrepreneurship Facilitators program to 20 additional locations to promote self-employment among older Australians ($17.7 million).
  • We will work with industry via a Collaborative Partnership to drive cultural change, combat age discrimination in workplaces and equip managers and business owners to work with an ageing workforce.
  • In addition, our $18.4 million Regional Employment Trials Program will bring local businesses and communities together to develop tailored local employment solutions in 10 disadvantaged regions.

The Minister for Jobs and Innovation, Michaelia Cash, said all Australians can benefit from the growing employment opportunities across all sectors of our strong economy.

“The 2018-19 Budget provides an opportunity for all working Australians. We are investing in our great ideas to grow existing businesses as well as create new ones, because growing these businesses create more jobs for all Australians.

“Everyone, from our entrepreneurs to our leading scientists, from our farmers to our baristas, will be able to share in the opportunities created by science, technology and innovation.”

Media contact: Rachelle Miller 0475 804 886