As the dust settles on the recent unveiling of Australia's Federal Budget for 2024-25, it's clear that the government is intensifying its commitment to the tech sector. With over $2.8 billion earmarked for technology systems and policy development—an increase from previous years—the stage is set for transformative advancements across AI, cyber security, and digital skills training.

Key investments impacting the tech sector:

Artificial Intelligence


The budget allocates $39.9 million over five years to promote the safe adoption of AI, enhancing the National AI Centre and bolstering security measures. Benefits for businesses include:

    • Enhanced Trust and Compliance: Aligning AI solutions with national safety standards to boost credibility.
    • Collaboration and Funding Opportunities: Engaging in partnerships and securing funding for AI development.

Strengthening Government Cyber Security


Significant funding, including $580.3 million over 4 years for the myGov platform and $187.4 million to enhance ATO's defenses, provides clear benefits for IT and cyber security businesses:

  • Adherence to Enhanced Security Standards: Businesses can ensure compliance and boost client trust by aligning with new, rigorous government standards.
  • Service Expansion Opportunities: The increasing demand for advanced cybersecurity solutions enables firms to expand their services.

Tech Skills Training


A total of $10.6 million has been dedicated (until 2027-28) to address the tech sector's skills gap through the Australian Skills Guarantee, focusing on modern ICT solutions and enhancing digital literacy. This allocation offers two primary opportunities for IT businesses:

  • Develop Training Programs: Create and implement solutions that align with the Australian Skills Guarantee, tailored to meet the evolving needs of the workforce.
  • Access a Skilled Workforce: Benefit from a larger pool of well-trained potential employees who can drive innovation and contribute to growth within these companies.

Strengthening R&D and Diversity in STEM


With $38.2 million allocated over 8 years, the budget supports a strategic review of R&D and promotes diversity within STEM education and sectors. This funding boost aids businesses in pursuing innovative projects and technological advancements. Additionally, it supports the creation of diverse and dynamic teams, enhancing workforce inclusivity and broadening innovation perspectives.

Support for SMEs


Extending the $20,000 instant asset write-off with a $290 million commitment, allows SMEs to immediately deduct the cost of eligible assets, enhancing cashflow and encouraging new investments in technology and equipment.

Landsat Next Satellite Program


Allocating $448.7 million over 11 years to enhance technology used for environmental monitoring and disaster response, offering:

    • Access to Improved Data: For businesses in agriculture and environmental management.
    • New Service Opportunities: In data analytics and environmental monitoring solutions.

National Robotics Strategy


The introduction of a National Robotics Strategy focuses on robotics and automation in manufacturing, enhancing productivity and opening market opportunities. This initiative offers key benefits for businesses in the tech sector:

  • Enhanced Productivity and Innovation: Businesses can reduce costs and improve efficiency through advanced automation solutions.
  • Increased Demand and Opportunities: Clients in manufacturing or robotics will experience a surge in demand, leading to enhanced technological offerings and improved productivity and operational efficiency.

Shaping the Future


The significant increase in funding detailed in the latest federal budget marks a pivotal moment for Australia's tech sector. Strategic investments across AI, cyber security, and digital skills development have set the stage for a surge in innovation and security. As the sector gears up to leverage these opportunities, the emphasis on collaborative partnerships and robust privacy frameworks promises that growth will be sustainable and inclusive. From government agencies to private enterprises and individual professionals, stakeholders are positioned to propel Australia into a new era of digital excellence and global competitiveness.

Read the full 2024-25 federal budget here.


Louise Wallace