A stronger, more resilient economy

Investing in the capabilities of our people and the capacity of our economy.

Better access to training and skills

Giving Australians the skills they need to secure higher-wage jobs

Fee-free TAFE

The Government is delivering 480,000 fee-free TAFE and community-based vocational education places over 4 years. As a first step, the Government is entering a $1 billion agreement with the states and territories to provide 180,000 places in 2023.

This agreement will prioritise training for students that traditionally face barriers to work and study, including women facing economic equality issues, and target industries with severe skill shortages. It will also deliver a $50 million TAFE Technology Fund to modernise TAFEs, enabling students to take advantage of up-to-date IT facilities, workshops and laboratories.

A new 5-year National Skills Agreement will commence in 2024 to secure the long‑term future of vocational education and training.

Planning for the workforce of the future

The Government will establish Jobs and Skills Australia to strengthen the nation's workforce planning, help address workforce shortages and build long-term capacity in priority sectors.

The Government will develop an Australian Skills Guarantee to ensure apprentices have access to the opportunities they need.

Supporting students

Improving well-being and greater access to education

Investing in our schools

The past few years have been especially difficult for Australian kids. This is why the Government is investing $474.5 million over 2 years to help students bounce back.

All schools will benefit from the $203.7 million Student Well-being Boost, with the average school receiving $20,000 towards improving student mental health and well-being. A new voluntary mental health check tool will assist schools to identify students who are struggling, so they can get the help they need.

The Schools Upgrade Fund will provide $270.8 million to support improvements to ventilation and air quality, as well as larger refurbishments to public schools.

The Government will also deliver on commitments to help tackle the teacher shortage – investing in bursaries worth up to $40,000 each and expanding the High Achieving Teachers program to attract our best to the profession.

More university places

Under-represented groups will be supported to attend university and study in areas of in-demand skills through a one-off boost of 20,000 additional university places. These places will be targeted to students from low socio-economic backgrounds, regional and remote areas, students who are first-in-family to attend university, First Nations students and students with disability.

Startup Year will encourage students to innovate by supporting up to 2,000 eligible students each year to participate in a university-based accelerator program.

For more information refer to Skills and training fact sheet [PDF 628KB]

Skilled migration

A migration system that strengthens the workforce and builds community

The Government is committed to ensuring Australia has the right skills to support our economy and drive future growth. This includes responsibly using migration to ease current critical skill and labour shortages, which have been impacting the everyday lives of Australians.

The permanent Migration Program will be expanded to 195,000 in 2022–23. This is an increase of 35,000. More than 90 per cent of new places will be for skilled migrants, and more than a quarter targeted to regional areas.

To address skills shortages more quickly, additional funding of $42.2 million will be provided to accelerate visa processing, reduce the visa backlog and raise awareness of opportunities for high‑skilled migrants in Australia's permanent Migration Program.

Student and secondary training visa holders will have their work restrictions relaxed until 30 June 2023. This will allow them to work additional hours in any sector, helping to address workforce shortages.

The Government will scale up the aged care training pathway for the Pacific Australia Labour Mobility scheme with an additional 500 places in 2022–23.

Advancing gender equality

Addressing persistent barriers to equal outcomes for women

The Government is expanding the Paid Parental Leave Scheme and delivering cheaper child care – significant reforms that will reduce barriers to work for women. The Government is also delivering a record investment in women's safety and is taking other action to advance gender equality.

National leadership to drive change

To advance gender equality, the Government will develop a National Strategy to Achieve Gender Equality. The Strategy will be guided by the new independent Women's Economic Equality Taskforce and informed by broad consultation. The Government is also delivering on its commitment to introduce gender-responsive budgeting so that the impacts of policies on women are taken into account in decision-making.

Tackling the gender pay gap

The Government is leading a national push to help close the gender pay gap. The Government will require large companies to publicly report their gender pay gap to the Workplace Gender Equality Agency to improve transparency and encourage change.

The Government is also putting gender equity at the heart of the workplace relations system. Changes to the Fair Work Act 2009 will make it easier for women in low-paid sectors to make pay equity claims.

Powering Australia

Building a future with cleaner and cheaper energy

Rewiring the Nation

The Government is modernising the electricity grid to help put downward pressure on power prices and support the transformation to a clean energy future. Rewiring the Nation will use $20 billion of low-cost finance to make much needed upgrades to our outdated electricity grid. This includes investing in Marinus Link to connect Tasmania's Battery of the Nation pumped hydro and renewables to the East Coast transmission network.

New investment in renewables generation and storage capacity will reduce Australians' exposure to international energy prices and help meet our emissions reduction commitments. It will also create construction jobs in regional Australia and fast track growth in sectors such as green hydrogen and battery production.

Powering the Regions

Renewable energy provides vast potential to strengthen the economic future of Australia’s regions, revitalise the competitiveness of traditional industries, and power new ones as part of the transformation to net zero by 2050. The Government will establish the $1.9 billion Powering the Regions Fund to help transform regional industries and help regional Australians access the economic opportunities of decarbonisation.

Reducing Transport Emissions

The Driving the Nation Fund invests $500 million to help reduce transport emissions, including electric vehicle charging infrastructure at 117 highway sites and hydrogen highways for key freight routes. The Government will also ensure its fleet purchases and leases will be 75 per cent electric by 2025.

To cut taxes on electric cars and encourage their uptake, the $345 million Electric Car Discount will exempt eligible electric cars from fringe benefits tax (FBT) and the 5 per cent import tariff. For an electric car valued at about $50,000, the FBT exemption would save an employer up to $9,000 a year or, for an individual using a salary sacrifice arrangement, their saving would be up to $4,700 a year. Removing customs duties will also help the purchaser save up to an additional $2,500 if the car was previously subject to an import tariff.

Community Batteries and Solar Banks

The $224.3 million Community Batteries for Household Solar Program will assist up to 100,000 households to reduce their power bills by delivering up to 400 community batteries to store excess solar energy for when it is needed most. The Government is also providing $102.2 million for the Community Solar Banks program to help up to 25,000 households access cheap solar-powered energy.

Skilling the clean energy workforce

The Government is addressing growing skills demands in the clean energy sector by committing over $100 million to the New Energy Apprenticeships and New Energy Skills programs. The programs will help apprentices acquire necessary skills by developing a new mentoring program and providing up to $10,000 for each apprentice in a clean energy role.

Acting on climate change

Safeguarding our future from the effects of climate change

Transparent and accountable climate action

The Government has enshrined in law our emissions reduction targets of 43 per cent by 2030 and net zero by 2050. Reforms to the Safeguard Mechanism will support whole-of-economy emissions reductions and align our economy with green growth opportunities.

To provide transparency on Australia's progress, the Government is investing $42.6 million to restore the Climate Change Authority, introducing an Annual Climate Change Statement to Parliament and increasing transparency around climate-related spending in the Budget.

Investing in and leveraging First Nations expertise

The Government will provide $105.2 million to support First Nations people to respond to climate change in their communities.

A First Nations Clean Energy Strategy and Community Microgrids Program will enable First Nations communities to influence and access the benefits of Australia’s renewable energy transformation.

A new Torres Strait Climate Change Centre of Excellence will empower Torres Strait communities to design and deliver local adaptation and mitigation initiatives, including through the Climate Warriors training program.

Government leadership

The Government will invest $7.1 million to begin reducing its own emissions to net zero by 2030. A further $39.1 million will improve the Australian Public Service’s climate expertise, including by rebuilding Treasury's climate modelling capability.

Protecting the environment

Safeguarding our wildlife, land and oceans

Managing our land and water

The Government is stepping in to arrest environmental decline and preserve a healthy environment for future generations. The Government is making a $1.8 billion investment in strong action to protect, restore and manage the natural environment.

An initial investment of $91.1 million over 6 years will clean up and restore urban waterways, protect local species and improve liveability for communities. A further $224.5 million will help save threatened native species and implement the Threatened Species Action Plan (2022–2032).

Indigenous Protected Areas will be maintained and expanded, with an additional $66.5 million over 5 years driving us closer to the target of protecting 30 per cent of land and oceans by 2030. $14.7 million will support First Nations-led action to identify and protect heritage places. This includes pursuing new World Heritage listings for the Murujuga Cultural Landscape and Flinders Ranges.

Protecting the Great Barrier Reef

The Government is increasing funding for the Great Barrier Reef to $1.2 billion by 2030. This will accelerate and scale up reef protection and restoration activities and address gaps in the implementation of the Reef 2050 Long-Term Sustainability Plan.

$15.3 million will ensure the Coastal Marine Ecosystems Research Centre in Gladstone is completed. The Centre will provide world-class science to guide management of the Reef in a changing climate.

Building disaster resilience and preparedness

Supporting communities to bounce back from disasters and prepare for future events

In recent years, Australia has been hit by drought, floods and bushfires that have tested our resilience and solidarity.

This year alone, floods in Victoria, Tasmania, New South Wales and Queensland have had a devastating impact on communities, taking a toll on the physical and mental health of those affected.

The economic cost of natural disasters is also high. They damage houses, crops, transport and other infrastructure in impacted communities.

The recent floods will also add to existing cost-of-living pressures, mainly through higher fruit and vegetable prices.

More support for relief and recovery

The Government will always stand ready to support our communities through the immediate impact of disasters and the long road to recovery. Disaster support payments are already providing immediate financial assistance to those impacted by the current floods in New South Wales, Tasmania and Victoria. The Commonwealth will also support the states as they rebuild critical public infrastructure.

There is $3 billion in the contingency reserve to meet the disaster recovery costs from the flooding events this year. Funding will go towards government payments to individuals and help support state efforts to alleviate the immediate hardship being experienced by communities and businesses.

In addition, to support future recovery efforts, the Government is providing $38.3 million to Disaster Relief Australia for more than 5,000 extra volunteers to help communities when disaster strikes.

Disaster Readiness

To better prepare for future disasters, the Government will invest up to $200 million per year on prevention and resilience initiatives through the Disaster Ready Fund. The Fund will support projects such as flood levees, sea walls, cyclone shelters, evacuation centres and fire breaks.

The Government is also spending $22.6 million over 4 years to help reduce the cost of insurance in disaster prone communities. This funding will be used to establish partnerships between government and the insurance sector.

A future made in Australia

Investing in priority industries to grow our industrial base, diversify our economy and boost and support regional development

National Reconstruction Fund

The Government will establish the National Reconstruction Fund to provide $15 billion of capital to transform and strengthen priority industries. This investment will support employment growth, drive regional development and help build a future made in Australia.

The National Reconstruction Fund will provide loans, guarantees and equity, partnering with the private sector to unlock further investment. It will invest in 7 priority sectors focusing on opportunities to add value to primary products and leverage Australia’s natural and competitive strengths.

The National Reconstruction Fund will drive regional development by identifying and investing in manufacturing technologies to help the transition to net zero emissions.

Revitalising Australian industries

The Government is already investing in the growth and development of sustainable, local industries. Grants of $113.6 million for manufacturing upgrades will boost our competitiveness, invest in our regions and reduce our carbon output. These grants will support local jobs through projects as diverse as biotech in Ipswich, advanced manufacturing in Adelaide and low carbon zinc in Hobart.

Investing in infrastructure

A value‑for‑money pipeline of nation‑building investments

Infrastructure plays a critical role in supporting our national and regional economies. The Government is delivering on its election commitments as part of the more than $120 billion pipeline of investment in transport infrastructure over the next 10 years. This includes $250 million to expand the Local Roads and Community Infrastructure Program. The Government will renew the role of Infrastructure Australia and reprioritise infrastructure investment program to make the pipeline real and deliverable.

New South Wales

  • $500 million for corridor acquisition, planning and early works on high-speed rail between Sydney and Newcastle
  • $300 million for the Western Sydney Roads Package

Victoria

  • $2.2 billion investment in the Suburban Rail Loop East over the next 5 years
  • $125 million for the Barwon Heads Road Upgrade - Stage 2

Queensland

  • $586.4 million to upgrade the Bruce Highway through Brisbane's outer northern suburbs
  • $210 million to upgrade the Kuranda Range Road

South Australia

  • $400 million for upgrades to the Dukes, Stuart and Augusta Highways
  • $60 million to deliver on and off ramps to the Southern Expressway and Majors Road interchange

Western Australia

  • $400 million to upgrade the Tanami Road
  • $125 million for electric bus charging infrastructure in Perth

Tasmania

  • $540 million to upgrade Tasmania's key road corridors, including the Bass and Tasman Highways

Northern Territory

  • $350 million in additional funding to upgrade and seal the Tanami Road and Central Arnhem Road
  • $332 million towards the NT Strategic Roads Package, including upgrading the Santa Teresa and Mereenie Loop Roads

Australian Capital Territory

  • $85.9 million in funding for Canberra Light Rail Stage 2A

The NBN and mobile connectivity

Boosting the NBN and connecting regional and rural Australia

Fast and reliable internet and mobile coverage is essential to remain connected, access services and support businesses. Connectivity helps regions to thrive and be resilient to natural disasters.

A $2.4 billion investment in NBN Co will extend fibre access to 1.5 million more premises, including over 660,000 homes in regional Australia. A year of free broadband for up to 30,000 unconnected families will help students access learning materials from home.

A further $1.2 billion in the Better Connectivity for Regional and Rural Australia Plan will enhance connectivity.

Supporting small business

Small businesses and government working together

Small businesses employ more than 5 million Australians and are the backbone of many communities. Difficult business conditions, together with the ongoing impacts of COVID-19 and extreme weather events, have required small businesses to be exceptionally adaptable and resilient. That is why the Government is committed to delivering on its Better Deal for Small Business, including:

  • strengthening unfair contract term protections
  • collaborating with the small business community to address opportunities and challenges including through September's Jobs and Skills Summit.

Investing in the energy efficiency of small and medium-sized businesses

The Government is responding to rising energy costs by committing $62.6 million to support small and medium-sized businesses in improving their energy efficiency and reducing energy use. These grants will empower small and medium-sized businesses to invest in cost-saving, energy efficient upgrades that will put downward pressure on power bills.

Workplace relations support for small businesses

The Government will work with small business, unions, workers and industry to deliver a simpler, more accessible and fairer workplace relations system. This includes removing complexity to help small businesses reach agreements with their employees, providing bargaining support for small businesses and assisting small businesses to implement new family and domestic violence leave entitlements for their employees.

Supporting small business well-being

The Government is providing $15.1 million to extend the tailored small business mental health and financial counselling programs, NewAccess for Small Business Owners and the Small Business Debt Helpline. These programs have assisted many small businesses through the challenges of COVID-19 and recent natural disasters.

A better future for our regions

Driving regional growth

The Government will invest $7.4 billion to support regional development across Australia.

The Government will deliver fair and transparent investments in community and economic infrastructure. This Budget includes $1 billion for 2 new flagship programs that will drive regional development.

Community groups and local councils in regional and rural areas will be invited to seek support from the new Growing Regions Program, which will fund local infrastructure projects such as libraries and regional airport upgrades.

Through its new regional Precincts and Partnerships Program, the Government will work with states and local councils to invest in place-based projects that transform regional centres.

Through its Priority Community Infrastructure Program and its Investing in Our Communities Program, the Government will provide $1.4 billion for local community, sport and infrastructure projects across Australia.

Backing Australian agriculture

Increasing and safeguarding farm output

This Budget includes $1.2 billion to help Australian farmers realise their goal of increasing annual output to $100 billion by 2030.

In the face of growing risks posed by pests and diseases such as foot‑and‑mouth disease, the Government is investing $134.1 million to bolster Australia's biosecurity system. This includes $46.7 million to enable contact tracing of livestock from paddock to plate across the entire nation. More detector dogs will intercept biosecurity threats coming through mail, cargo and air passengers.

The Government will invest $1.2 billion in water infrastructure through its National Water Grid Fund. New projects in the Cairns region and across Tasmania will increase irrigatable land by more than 114,855 ha. The Government will also make $1 billion available for future projects that increase Australia's water security, reliability and sustainability.

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