Industry groups cautiously welcome federal budget

News Story
- 16 May 2024 ( #1179 ) - Canberra, ACT, Australia
2 min read
Australian Treasurer Jim Chalmers handed down his third budget this week
Australian Treasurer Jim Chalmers handed down his third budget this week

Industry groups have cautiously welcomed the May 14 federal budget, which included a multi-billion-dollar package aimed at reducing the country’s carbon footprint while boosting the manufacturing sector.

The government said its AUD22.7 billion Future Made in Australia initiative will help the country to become a “renewable energy superpower”.

Engineers Australia said it supported the renewable energy components of the budget.

“Engineers Australia supports federal budget funding announcements to accelerate the transition to net zero through support for solar, hydrogen, critical minerals and batteries,” Engineers Australia chief executive officer Romilly Madew said.

“Clean hydrogen is the Swiss Army Knife of energy transition, thanks to its versatility across the transport, industry and power sectors.

Climateworks Centre, an independent not-for-profit organisation within Monash University, also welcomed the budget’s green energy package.

“Australia has enormous green hydrogen potential, with our modelling showing that local hydrogen demand for industry, long-haul freight and maritime shipping could reach up to 145% of total energy demand in 2050 across Australia,” the centre’s sustainable economies lead Kylie Turner said.

Engineers Australia also supported the budget focus on tackling workforce shortages.

“It's clear we urgently need to upskill our workforce to handle the energy transition, enhance our manufacturing and beef up our digital capabilities,” Engineers Australia’s Madew said.

The Independent Tertiary Education Council Australia (ITECA) identified several “significant outcomes” to support workforce skilling, reskilling and upskilling, including a boost to the Australian Apprenticeships Incentive System and funding to help skill the new energy workforce for the transition to net zero.

The National Road Transport Association (NatRoad), meanwhile, welcomed the budget’s road safety funding and tax relief for small businesses. 

“A 12-month extension to the AUD20,000 instant asset write-off will help small businesses claim an immediate tax benefit on new assets through to June 2025,” says NatRoad chief executive officer Warren Clark.

“Eligible road transport businesses will also appreciate the modest $325 rebate on their power bills.”

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