The Australian Federal Government’s investment in rail/road, wireless and cyber infrastructure should provide opportunity and demand for machinery, equipment, technology and services, as well as provide opportunity for collaboration within the priority industries identified Australia’s Digital Economy Strategy.

On 29 March 2022, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg announced the 2022-2023 Federal Budget for Australia. The annual Australian Federal Government budget establishes the economic position and fiscal outlook for Australia, as well as the Government’s social and political priorities and how expenditure will be allocated over the coming year to achieve these goals.

Australia’s fiscal outlook

In 2022-23, Australia is expected to record a budget deficit of A$78 billion (~US$54 billion), which is estimated to fall to A$43.1 billion (~US$29.8 billion) in 2025-26. Australia’s improved fiscal outlook has been the result a strong labor market (unemployment rate at 3.9%) and higher near-term commodity prices. This has allowed for large upward revisions to tax receipts and reductions in unemployment benefit payments. 

Wisconsin exporters with expertise in infrastructure projects such as rail and road, and wireless networks may find opportunity in Australia following a 10-year infrastructure investment pipeline initiative. Additionally, Wisconsin exporters with experience in cyber security and intelligence may find opportunity as apart of Australia’s A$1.7 billion (~US$1.17 billion) 2020 Cyber Security Strategy, lasting for 10 years. 

The Australian Federal Government is maintaining its A$120 billion (~US$83 billion) 10-year Investment pipeline as part of the Infrastructure Investment Program to improve infrastructure in all states and territories. Major projects that are in planning, underway or under construction are:

  • A$1.5 billion (~US$1 billion) for WestConnex (New South Wales)
  • A$1.5 billion (~US$1 billion) for Coffs Harbour Bypass (New South Wales)
  • A$1.8 billion (~US$1.24 billion) for North East Link (Victoria)
  • A$800 million (~US$554 million) for Bruce Highway (Queensland)
  • A$350 million (~US$242.7 million) for METRONET: Thornlie-Cockburn Link (Western Australia)

The Australian Government has also committed several investments to improve regional connectivity through:

  • A$811.8 million (~US$563 million) for new open-access mobile coverage on regional roads and adjacent premises, businesses, and tourist hotspots.
  • A$750 million (~US$520 million) to improve existing NBN Co. wireless and satellite services. 

Australia’s new Government’s approach

After the budget announcement, a federal election changed the political party of the Australian government. The newly elected Labor party’s policies are expected to add A$7.4 billion (~US$5.1 billion) to the Australian budget over the next 4 years. The labor party is prioritizing smart, responsible, and targeted investments that deliver economic value.

Labor’s Powering Australia policy, a A$76 billion (~US$52.7 billion) investment, will incentivize cleaner and cheaper energy sources, particularly in rural areas of Australia. The new government has also supported the budgeted investment into the NBN Network, anticipating a ‘digital economic opportunity’ of up to A$207 billion (~US$143.5 billion) in GDP per year by 2030.

Wisconsin exporters with expertise in any of the sectors highlighted above are encouraged to:

  • Review the Federal Budget 2022/22 Overview,
  • Refer to the Digital Economy Strategy, particularly Digital Infrastructure, which provides the road maps and in-depth detail of the initiatives within each priority industry.
  • Connect with WEDC for more information and explore options for an introductory teleconference with our office in Australia.
August 2022