Budget 2021-22

11 May 2021

Federal Budget a missed opportunity to address climate change

The Academy of Technology and Engineering (ATSE) says the Federal Budget represents a missed opportunity for Australia to become a global clean energy powerhouse.

Chief Executive Officer Kylie Walker said there are millions of dollars of new money in the Budget supporting fossil fuel industries, such as gas and oil, but very little to support technologies that could see Australia become a leader in exporting its sunshine.

“Most of the investment to address climate change is targeted at adaptation strategies, which are clearly necessary.

“But we would have liked to have seen at least an equal amount invested in accelerating and leading Australia’s transition to a low emissions economy.”

The budget’s record $10 billion infrastructure spend has a clear focus on roads upgrades, yet there is a lack of support for electric vehicle infrastructure.

Ms Walker said electrifying the land transport sector would be a crucial step in a technology-led transition to net zero emissions.

In other Budget measures, ATSE welcomes the $42.4 million set aside to co-fund scholarships for more than 230 women to pursue STEM PhD qualifications.

“Increasing investment in STEM education and research translation will strengthen Australia’s capacity to rebuild after COVID and to respond to the serious challenges posed by climate change,” Ms Walker said.

We also welcome measures to support the commercialisation of critical research through a lower tax rate on income earned from patents in the medical and biotech sectors.

“We encourage the government to expand its patent box scheme to include the clean energy sector as soon as possible,” Ms Walker said.

“The Academy of Technology and Engineering looks forward to more detail about how the government is going to support Australia innovation-led economic recovery.”

Media contact: Liz Foschia liz.foschia@atse.org.au  0419 976 903

The Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering is a Learned Academy of independent experts helping Australians understand and use technology to solve complex problems.

The announcement of the Federal Budget in Australia is an important annual event, signalling the Government’s policy direction and priorities for the coming financial year.

ATSE’s pre-budget submission recommended that government should:

  • Take urgent action on climate change mitigation and adaptation.
  • Meet Australia’s urgent current and future skilled workforce needs through a holistic strategy for STEM education and careers, from early school education through university and post-graduate.
  • Pursue an overarching national industry innovation strategy, investing in linkages and incentives and providing a long-term blueprint for industry innovation, scientific research, technology development and science, technology, engineering and maths education.

See ATSE’s pre-budget submission here.