The 2016 Australian Budget is here. Here's everything that it contains that matters for tech-heads — all the innovation, NBN, and online info in this year's government statement of dollars and cents.
This year's Budget includes a tool that lets any Australian customise their own particular economic overview, with personalised information on income tax raises or windfalls, as well as bespoke information on business investments or personal interests.
The government-owned company responsible for building the National Broadband Network receives its final piece of the initial allocation of its $29.5 billion in public funding in this year's Budget, but any further cost over-runs might require more money from the taxpayer purse if private investment cannot be found.
Tonight's budget has unveiled a swathe of multi-national tax avoidance measures, including a diverted profits tax — commonly known as the "Google Tax" within Australia — that could potentially capture billions of dollars from Australia's top multi-national companies including Google and Apple.
"Big improvements in the nation's defence capability also support innovation and skills development in advanced technologies," Scott Morrison said in his 2016-17 budget speech this evening. The 2016 Defence White Paper has revealed an additional $29.9 billion budgeted for Defence, and brings investment in capability to an "unprecedented" $195 billion over the decade to 2025-26.
On the shopping list? 12 new "regionally-superior" submarines, nine future frigates and 12 offshore patrol vessels are expected to "drive jobs and growth in the new economy we are building".
"Innovation is critical to Australia's growth and standard of living," reads the just-released 2016-2017 Australian Federal Budget. "Supporting innovative firms to seize new opportunities will create competition, access to new markets and employment growth."
The government's just-announced 2016 Federal Budget will see the "encouragement" of private companies and the government itself exploring blockchain technology, the peer-to-peer protocol popularised by bitcoin. New legislation, too, will ensure that Australian citizens are not double-taxed when they use, buy and sell digital currencies like bitcoin itself.
"This initiative is not just about keeping Australia safe," Scott Morrisson said of the Federal Government's cyber security strategy in his budget speech this evening. "It is an important part of our economic plan for jobs and growth."
$195 million has been set aside, building on the $38 million announced in the National Innovation and Science Agenda.
The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner has been spared by the 2016 Federal Budget, after repeated attempts by government to de-fund and shut down the office were stymied by Opposition in the Senate. Tonight's budget confirms that the OAIC, which deals with digital privacy, freedom of information and information policy for Australia's federal bodies, will be funded for the next term of government.
Almost $2 billion in the next decade will be spent by Australia's government to hopefully save the Great Barrier Reef, including $171 million in funding this year to destroy invasive species and address coral bleaching.
The 2016-2017 Australian Government Budget was handed down tonight, revealing details and funding for the Innovation and Science Agenda, CSIRO research into Bitcoin's Blockchain technology, the Cyber Security Strategy, initiatives to help save the Great Barrier Reef and hi-tech job creation in the defence industry.
Here's every word of Scott Morrison's speech.