Budget reply a starting point for a renewable future and strengthened sovereign capabilities but lacks detail

1 April 2022

solar panels

Five pillar plan in Budget reply a good start but lacking as a holistic strategy

The Five pillar plan outlined by opposition leader, Anthony Albanese, outlines a promising direction but a long-term holistic strategy is needed to safeguard Australia’s economy, society and environment.

The Powering Australia Plan could play a critical role in fast-tracking Australia’s commitment to net-zero emissions by 2050. The ratcheting up of low-carbon technologies like solar, wind and energy storage (batteries and pumped hydro), combined with electrification of transport and sustainably designed buildings must be accelerated to drive emission reductions while safeguarding Australian jobs and economic prosperity.

The plans for a Future Made in Australia wield promise but a specific focus on boosting Australia’s STEM skills base and our sovereign capabilities is needed so Australia moves from a tech-user to producer.

ATSE particularly reiterates the need for a nation-wide plan to bolster Australia’s research capabilities – from translation, commercialisation to application. Science and technology commercialisation is vital for Australia’s prosperity and sustained investment is required to transform ideas into technological breakthroughs. This is essential to support Australia’s economic recovery from the pandemic and protect our future from challenges such as climate change.

ATSE welcomes proposed plans to invest more money in green and renewable energy solutions as well as the announced 20,000 university places and 465,000 fee-free TAFE places. However, the Academy urges a deepening focus on the STEM skills required to fast-track a decarbonised Australia and for realising a technology powered, human driven future for all Australians.