Budget 2021-22: Key Portfolio Measures

11 May 2021

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Defence, Foreign Affairs, Trade, Home Affairs and Attorney-General

The Federal Government has consolidated its investment in national security programs and key strategic relationships in the region, while committing $42.4 million over the next two years to protect critical infrastructure assets and Systems of National Significance. The Regional Cooperation Arrangement in Indonesia has received a further $38.1 million in 2021-22, building on support delivered for Operation Sovereign Borders. The Government has also allocated resources to facilitate the planned drawdown of Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel in Afghanistan in September 2021, supporting a shift in focus to the Indo-Pacific region. Australia’s consular capability, meanwhile, will be strengthened in a bid to support those affected by ongoing COVID-19 travel restrictions.

Key measures

  • $198.2 million over four years to support Australian exporters and businesses to diversify export markets and sustain overseas diplomatic networks.
  • $174.2 million to conduct a Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide, including support for eligible families and advocacy organisations to aid their participation.
  • $123.8 million over four years to support the development of family law system reforms. This includes $60.8 million over four years to support family law case management reforms.
  • $119.9 million over four years to strengthen Australia’s consular capability to support Australians impacted by COVID-19 travel restrictions.
  • $43.8 million delivered over three years to grow the Cyber Security Skills Partnership Innovation Fund, developing local capability and expanding the pool of cyber security professionals in Australia.
  • $42.4 million over two years to safeguard critical infrastructure assets and designated Systems of National Significance, in addition to enhancing the capacity of asset owners and operators to respond to significant cyber-attacks.
  • $37.4 million over three years to modernise and strengthen Australia’s trade system, including a comprehensive review of trade regulations and ICT systems that facilitate cross-border trading.
  • $13.2 million over four years to support the ongoing operation of the Commonwealth Fraud Prevention Centre.
  • $9.3 million over four years to fund the Government’s response to the recommendations of the [email protected]: Sexual Harassment National Inquiry Report.
  • $2.8 million in existing resources from the Department of Home Affairs to bolster the national system of identity settings.

Health, Families and Social Services

The Government has affirmed its commitment to improve service provision in the aged care sector, committing $17.7 billion for a comprehensive aged care reform package arising from the findings of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety. Additionally, the Government has continued to prioritise management of the COVID-19 pandemic, with $1.9 billion committed for the continued rollout of the vaccine program.

Key measures

  • $6.5 billion over the forward estimates to provide a further 80,000 additional home care packages as part of the response to the recommendations of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety.
  • $2 billion commitment over the forward estimates to boost mental health services through the National Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan, including initiatives to be progressed with states and territories for a new national agreement on mental health and suicide prevention.
  • $802.8 million over the forward estimates for new and amended listings on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS), the Repatriation Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme and the Stoma Appliance Scheme.
  • $777.8 million over the forward estimates for the COVID-19 Vaccination Program including the delivery of vaccines through general practitioners and community pharmacies.
  • $557.1 million to extend temporary Medicare Benefits Schedule pathology items for the testing and detection of COVID-19.
  • $510.8 million over the forward estimates to be provided to the states and territories for the delivery of COVID-19 vaccines.
  • $354 million over the forward estimates to support women’s health, including $100.4 million of funding for cervical and breast cancer screening programs.
  • $65 million from 1 January 2022 to boost bulk billing rebates and provide more affordable healthcare for patients in rural, regional and remote areas.
  • $24.2 million over two years from 2021-22 to improve health outcomes through alcohol and other drug (AOD) treatment and support services.

Further Reading


Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities

The Morrison Government will invest an additional $15.2 billion in infrastructure over the next 10 years, increasing the Government’s total commitment to the infrastructure pipeline to $110 billion. The Budget includes a focus on delivering nation-building infrastructure projects, providing water security to regional Australia and new terminals and freight routes to further connect Australia.

Key measures

  • $3.3 billion over the forward estimates for priority road projects in NSW, including $2 billion for the Great Western Highway Upgrade.
  • $3.2 billion over the forward estimates for priority road and rail projects in South Australia, including $2.6 billion for the North-South Corridor – Darlington to Anzac Highway.
  • $3 billion over the forward estimates for priority road and rail projects in Victoria, including up to $2 billion for the Melbourne Intermodal Terminal.
  • $1.6 billion over the forward estimates for priority road and rail projects in Queensland, including $400 million additional funding towards the Bruce Highway upgrade.
  • $1.3 billion over the forward estimates for priority road and rail projects in Western Australia, including $237.5 million for the METRONET.
  • $1 billion over two years to extend the Local Roads and Community Infrastructure Program.
  • $1 billion (in 2022-23) for the Road Safety Program to support the National Road Safety Strategy 2021-30.
  • $256.5 million over the forward estimates for round six of the Building Better Regions Fund.
  • $160 million over two years to establish the National Water Grid Connections funding pathway, including $98 million over three years for National Water Grid projects.
  • $28.6 million over the forward estimates to deliver initiatives as part of the National Freight and Supply Chain Strategy.
  • $55.5 million over three years to deliver new projects that support local communities.
  • The Government will increase the Heavy Vehicle Road User Charge from 25.8 cents per litre to 26.4 cents per litre from 1 July 2021. This will decrease the amount spent by the Government on the Fuel Tax Credit for heavy vehicles by $73 million over four years from 2021-22.

Further Reading


Communications and the Arts and Education, Skills and Small Business

The Federal Government has prioritised funding for education and training in the 2021-22 Budget to promote employment and has further allocated funding to support the employment of young and vulnerable job-seekers. As previously announced, a $1.6 billion package will replace the National Partnership Agreement on Universal Access to Early Childhood Education to boost women’s workforce participation. The Government has also invested an additional $84.8 million to improve regional connectivity, with a particular focus on Northern Australia. Significantly, the Government expects to save $1.1 billion over the forward estimates by implementing its New Employment Services Model (NESM) that will digitise the income support system.

Key measures

  • $1.6 billion package over the forward estimates to guarantee universal access to preschool through a funding agreement to be negotiated with the states and territories.
  • $1.2 billion over six years for Australia’s Digital Economy Strategy – a whole-of-government initiative.
  • $506.3 million to extend funding for the Government’s JobTrainer program.
  • $481.2 million over the forward estimates to continue the Transition to Work program for young people aged 15 to 24.
  • $258 million over the forward estimates to support the employment of vulnerable job-seekers.
  • $222.9 million for the arts sector, including extending COVID-19 funding schemes and establishing a Supporting Cinemas’ Retention Endurance and Enhancement of Neighbourhoods Program.
  • $84.8 million towards the Regional Connectivity Program.
  • $68.5 million dedicated funding stream for projects in Northern Australia under the Regional Connectivity Program and Mobile Black Spot Program.
  • $56 million to support the international education sector, including funding for domestic short course places, fee relief measures and business innovation grants.
  • $31.4 million over three years from 2021-22 for additional diverse language services, including for the Special Broadcasting Services (SBS).
  • $15 million to ensure the sustainability of the Australian Associated Press.
  • $8 million for the Community Broadcasting Foundation under the Community Broadcasting Program.
  • As part of the Government’s deregulation agenda, international education providers will no longer be required to report the receipt of student fees on the Provider Registration and International Student Management System from 1 July 2021.

Further Reading


Resources, Energy and Industry

The Budget reaffirms the Federal Government’s commitment to reducing emissions through a $1.6 billion investment to support the Technology Investment Roadmap and Low Emissions Technology Statements. In addition, the Government will continue to pursue its gas-fired recovery plan, work to address gas shortages on the East Coast and increase domestic fuel security. Funding will also be provided to the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources to work with the Department of Health to develop an onshore mRNA vaccine manufacturing capability in Australia.

Key measures

  • $1.6 billion over 10 years to incentivise investment in technologies identified in the Government’s Technology Investment Roadmap and Low Emissions Technology Statements. As part of this, $1.2 billion will be allocated to low emissions technologies, including the support of low emissions technology partnerships, the fast-tracking of the development of four clean hydrogen export hubs and support for carbon capture and storage technologies and hubs.
  • $387.2 million over 10 years for the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) Observatory radio telescope project in Western Australia.
  • $208.4 million over the forward estimates to support affordable and reliable power supply and generation in the electricity market, including $24.9 million over three years to assist new gas generators become hydrogen-ready.
  • $189.6 million over five years for a package of measures to support the next five year plan for Northern Australia.
  • $116.7 million over four years to support the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO), including $59.8 million to support waste storage capacity.
  • $58.6 million over four years to address gas shortages on Australia’s East Coast.
  • $15.7 million over three years to support strategic gas basin plans.
  • $13.3 million over the forward estimates for the Australian Space Agency to increase its capacity and support the growth of the industry.
  • An equity injection to develop an onshore mRNA vaccine manufacturing capability.
  • An equity injection to support Australia’s sovereign refining capacity and fuel security.

Further Reading


Agriculture and Environment

The 2021-22 Budget is focussed on supporting and protecting the agriculture and farming sector with a range of funding allocated to strengthening biosecurity measures and safeguards. Measures include additional support for the Murray-Darling Basin, with funds allocated to the modernisation of infrastructure and water-saving projects, and a further focus on the ‘blue economy’ through ocean and marine management.

Key measures

  • $1.3 billion in funding for projects modernising irrigation infrastructure networks, and $150 million in grants to support off-farm water-saving projects in the Murray-Darling Basin.
  • $696.2 million over the forward estimates for a package to support biosecurity measures for farmers, including $102 million over two years to increase soil testing and enhance the National Soil Resources Information System and $96.9 million over four years to manage biosecurity risks posed by hitchhiker pests arriving on imported cargo.
  • $212.2 million over four years to continue supporting farmers and drought-affected communities, including $172.5 million over four years through the Future Drought Fund and $25 million to further extend the On-farm Emergency Water Infrastructure Rebate Scheme to 30 June 2022.
  • $209.7 million over four years to support the establishment of a new national information centre, the Australian Climate Service, which will inform Emergency Management Australia and the new National Resilience and Recovery Agency to prepare and respond to natural disasters.
  • $100.1 million over five years for an Oceans Leadership Package which includes $39.9 million over five years for additional rounds under the Our Marine Parks grants program, and $30.6 million over four years to undertake on-the-ground restoration activities in regional Australia.
  • $29.3 million over four years to support policy reform in response to the Independent Review of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 including $9 million over four years to establish the Environment Assurance Commissioner to monitor and audit Commonwealth, state and territory environmental approval systems.

Further Reading

 

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