Federal Budget takes important steps to boost tech investment, workforce and cyber security: Tech Council of Australia

Federal Budget takes important steps to boost tech investment, workforce and cyber security: Tech Council of Australia

The Tech Council of Australia (TCA) welcomes the investments outlined in tonight’s Federal Budget that will improve the skilled migration system, support the next generation of Australia’s tech industry, and strengthen our cyber security preparedness and resilience.

“This Budget will help take our tech smarts and turn them into high-paid jobs and globally successful businesses,” Tech Council of Australia CEO Kate Pounder (pictured) said.

“The Budget takes important steps to address the big challenges facing our country, including skills shortages, growing new industries and jobs, and strengthening cyber security.”

Industry commercialisation and innovation is a strong feature of the Budget, with additional investment to stand-up the National Reconstruction Fund, targeted measures to underpin the National Quantum Strategy and the creation of a $392 million Industry Growth Program.

“Australia has global strengths in critical technology areas like quantum, AI and robotics, and the measures announced in the Budget will support our tech companies to commercialise and scale globally. We acknowledge the great work of Minister for Industry and Science, Ed Husic in championing these critical measures for our sector.”

“The recent passage of the National Reconstruction Fund is a landmark reform to build new high-value industries and we are pleased to see the Government is wasting no time in standing up the new corporation.”

“The creation of the new Industry Growth Program will help spark early-stage commercialisation in strategic industries and grow Australian start-ups. We welcome the adoption of an end-to-end approach that connects the pipeline of projects from this program to the National Reconstruction Fund.”

“The Government’s investments in quantum and AI, including the new national challenge program for quantum computing and the $3.4 billion Advanced Strategic Capabilities Accelerator in the defence portfolio, are important initial steps towards achieving the vision set out in the recently released National Quantum Strategy,” Pounder said.

The Budget also contains investments in visa processing which will be essential to reach 1.2 million tech workers by 2030.

“Australian businesses from all parts of the economy continue to struggle with finding experienced tech workers in technical roles like software engineering and cyber security.”
“That is why we strongly support the plan for migration reform laid out by Minister for Home Affairs Clare O’Neil last month.”

“The Tech Council has advocated for improved pathways to permanent residency and it’s encouraging to see the Government’s strong response.”

“While domestic training and reskilling remain the most important pathways for workers to enter the tech sector, migration is critical to fill gaps in technical, experienced roles and to train Australian talent. We look forward to continuing to work with the Government on the delivery of the broader migration reform program,” Pounder said.

Finally, the Budget contains a suite of measures aimed at bolstering our cyber security, cracking down on scams and supporting improved privacy practices.

“We back the Government’s goal to make Australia the most cyber secure nation in the world. We strongly support the investment in expanding the digital identity system across the economy, which is one of the most important actions the Government can take to protect Australians’ data.”
“The establishment of the new Coordinator and National Office for Cyber Security is an important reform which has the potential to significantly improve the way we respond to major cyber incidents and review lessons learned.”

“We also welcome the additional investments in tackling SMS scams and bolstering the resources of the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner to improve compliance with privacy laws across the economy.”

“This is not just a priority for the tech sector but for all Australians to keep their data and privacy safe and secure in an increasingly digital world.”

“The measures announced by the Government tonight will play an important role in continuing to drive us towards our shared goal of 1.2 million tech jobs by 2030 and are well aligned with the priorities outlined in our pre-budget submission,” Pounder said.