All the tech in the 2022 federal budget

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All the tech in the 2022 federal budget

Budget 2022: Winners revealed.

Government agencies have scored big in a budget otherwise focused on reducing cost of living pressures ahead of the federal election, with significant funding flowing to a range of new and existing technology projects.

The centrepiece is a $9.9 billion investment in Australia’s offensive and defensive cyber security capabilities, which the government described as the “largest ever investment in Australia’s intelligence and cyber capabilities”.

The funding will see the Australian Signals Directorate more than double in size, with 1900 extra data analysts, programmers, engineers and other experts expected to join the cyber spy agency in time.

In response to the 2021 regional telecommunications review, the government will also provide $1.3 billion over six years to improve telecommunications in regional and rural areas.

As part of this, the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications will receive $811.8 million to “expand mobile connectivity, resilience and affordability in regional Australia”.

NBN Co, meanwhile, will get $480 million to upgrade its fixed wireless and satellite networks to improve services in remote and regional areas, while the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission will receive $1.8 million to conduct a review of mobile tower access fees.

The Department of Agriculture, Water and Environment will receive $127.4 million over four years to continue and expand the ‘digital services to take farmers to market’ initiative, which aims to improve agricultural export systems.

The Department of Home Affairs and Australian Trade and Investment Commission will get $42 million to modernise the country’s trade system in a bid to “reduce regulatory burden on exporters and to identify opportunities for further reforms”.

The Australian Federal Police will establish a formal intelligence system of record to improve data collection and analysis using an undisclosed portion of a new $287.2 million transnational, serious and organised crime package.

The package will also fund the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission to “enhance its core capabilities to disrupt transnational, serious and organised crime”, and the ongoing integration of state and territory law enforcement agencies into the national criminal intelligence system.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics scored $23.7 million over four years to update the Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupation (ANZSCO) list on an annual basis, with any new occupations to be incorporated into ABS data.

The funding follows a parliamentary inquiry last year that urged the government to ditch the ANZSCO list – which forms the basis for the current skilled migration program – entirely in order to better meet currents skills needs.

The ABS will also receive a further $19.9 million over four years to develop a new reporting application that allows business to submit surveys of business indicators through their accounting software.

The Australian Taxation Office will receive $6.6 million over four years to develop the IT infrastructure required to share single touch payroll (STP) data with state and territory revenue offices on an “ongoing basis”.

The funding is expected to flow after the further consultation to determine which states and territories are “able and willing to make investments in their own systems and administrative processes to pre-fill payroll tax returns with STP data.

Other initiatives include:

  • $96.8 million for phase three of the health delivery modernisation program
  • $30 million to continue the centralisation of networks through cyber hubs
  • $17.7 million in 2022-23 for the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) to continue to support the administration and regulation of remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS)
  • $17 million over two years to support the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner to undertake its work, including around social media and digital platforms
  • $17.5 million over three years (from 2021-22) to enhance the digital capabilities of Australia’s offshore oil and gas regulator and titles administrator
  • $12.6 million in 2022-23 for the Australian Maritime Safety Authority to fund the national system for domestic commercial vessel safety
  • $10.4 million over two years for Treasury to redesign the payment times reporting portal and register used by small businesses
  • A deduction for small businesses that buy cloud services and cyber security systems as part of digital programs
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