Budget boost to manufacturing to secure Australia's recovery

The Morrison Government is securing Australia’s recovery by investing more than $475 million in the 2021-22 Budget to drive industry growth and scientific development, helping to create high paying, sustainable jobs for Australian workers.

Minister for Industry, Science and Technology, Christian Porter, said the new funding is part of the Government’s ongoing efforts to secure Australia’s future as a globally recognised, high-quality, sustainable and innovative manufacturing nation. The funding also builds on the $1.5 billion Modern Manufacturing Strategy announced in the October 2020-21 Budget.

“We have a clear vision to harness science and technology to expand existing industries and develop new ones, creating long-term and sustainable jobs,” the Minister said.

“This Budget investment is another significant step in this direction and underpins the Government’s economic recovery plan.”

The new funding includes $117.8 million over the next four years to deliver Australia’s first Artificial Intelligence (AI) Action Plan, as part of the Government’s Digital Economy Strategy. The plan will support business to adopt AI, and the development of world leading AI projects, along with the associated high-skilled jobs these projects create.

As announced last month, the Government is making a major investment in the Square Kilometre Array radio telescope with funding of $387.2 million over the next 10 years, creating more than 350 jobs during the 10-year construction phase and a further 230 ongoing positions over the 50-year life of the project. There will also be an additional $13.3 million to increase the capacity of the Australian Space Agency to deliver regulatory services and support the growth of the industry.

“Space is the new frontier for modern manufacturing and is one of the Government’s six National Manufacturing Priorities. Roadmaps developed with industry have recently been released by the Morrison Government to inform the long-term strategy in each of these priority industries, including space, and to help capture exciting new opportunities to grow these sectors and create jobs,” Minister Porter said.

“Innovation in the space sector also supports advancement in other essential industries, including agriculture and transport.”

Other measures announced in the 2021-22 Budget to support industry growth and innovation and further develop Australia’s science and technology capabilities include:

  • $116.7 million over four years to support the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation to undertake capital maintenance as well as funding for waste management.
  • $66.4 million over six years to increase Australia’s workforce skills in cyber security and emerging technologies. Of this, $43.8 million will provide for the expansion of the Cyber Security Skills Partnership Innovation Fund to create a pipeline of cyber security professionals that can meet growing demand for cyber jobs across the Australian economy. The Government will also provide $22.6 million over six years in funding for 234 scholarships to support emerging technologies areas, identified through the Modern Manufacturing Strategy.
  • $42.4 million over seven years to boost the next generation of women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) through industry-focussed university scholarships, as well as a Women in STEM Evaluation Toolkit.
  • $7.2 million to improve and maintain a new Employment Contract Tool, supporting small business owners to meet their employment obligations. The tool will help businesses navigate the hiring process and encourage expansion.
  • $5.0 million to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of Australia’s anti-dumping system.
  • $2.6 million to assist Australian manufacturers and small and medium-sized enterprises to access Commonwealth procurement. This measure is part of a larger package of activities designed to raise awareness of the value and availability of Australian-made products.
  • $1.0 million to support the design and development of an Australian fashion certification trade mark, promoting and endorsing the high quality of locally designed and produced products to key overseas markets.
  • Advancing Australia’s manufacturing capacity by developing onshore mRNA vaccine capability, through continued negotiations and an approach to the Australian market, maximising the long-term potential applications of the mRNA platform.
  • Extending the automotive research and development tariff concession until 2025 to keep high-end research activities in Australia and maintain support for high-wage jobs.
  • Developing a new Global Science and Technology Diplomacy Fund that consolidates international science programs in the Industry, Science, Energy and Resources portfolio, which will create efficiencies and allow for a greater focus on supporting strategically important emerging international science, research and technology collaborations with global partners.

The 2021-22 Budget is securing Australia’s recovery, investing in industry growth and scientific development to drive job creation and economic growth.