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Australian Federal Budget 2024: What it means for resources professionals

· 700 words, 3 min read

Yesterday, Treasurer Jim Chalmers delivered a 2024-25 Federal Budget that once again highlights the central role the resources sector plays in underwriting Australia’s prosperity.

Funding for resources sector projects and initiatives shows the Federal Government grasps the importance of resources in the transition to a clean energy future. The Budget introduces a range of measures to support new economic, technological and professional opportunities.

The expertise of professionals will be central to unlocking the value of Australia’s resources projects and reinforcing our position as a global mining leader.

See the main budget takeaways below. 

Key funding commitments for the resources sector

  • Resourcing Australia’s Prosperity - $566 million for Geoscience Australia to deliver an expanded precompetitive geoscience initiative aimed at mapping the entire continent. The Budget also commits $448.7 million over 11 years to continue the Landsat Next Satellite Project with the US Geological Survey. Read more here

  • Critical Minerals Production Credit – The Government will offer a 10% Production Tax Credit for critical minerals projects, aimed at making Australia more cost competitive after the US, Canada, China and Indonesian introduced similar incentives.

  • Critical Minerals Facility and Northern Australia Infrastructure Fund – The Budget confirms $1.4 billion funding announced in March for Arafura Rare Earths, Renascor Resources and Liontown Resources mining and processing projects. Read more here

  • Clean Energy Finance Corporation and Export Finance Australia – The Budget also confirms more than $400 million in financial support for refinery operations in Western Australia including Liontown Resources’ Kathleen Valley Lithium Project and Iluka Resources’ Eneabba rare earth refinery.

  • Decarbonisation –$331 million has been allocated via the Powering the Regions Fund to support the electrification efforts of companies captured under the Federal Government Emissions Safeguard Mechanism including Rio Tinto, Glencore and Grange Resources.

  • Common-user facilities - $10.2 million has been allocated to pre-feasibility under a Critical Minerals National Productivity Initiative, working in partnership with state and territory governments. This follows calls by the Western Australian Government to establish a $200 million facility in Kwinana with Federal support.

  • Foreign Investment - $15.7 million for Treasury to streamline Australia’s foreign investment framework, including a new ‘front door’ for investors from partner countries with ‘transformational’ investment proposals for minerals, energy and manufacturing proposals.

  • Trade enhancement - $5.8 million will fund a new trade enhancement initiative to be spearheaded by the Federal Government.

  • Foreign interference - $1 million for a pilot educational program to detect, prevent and mitigate efforts to interfere with Australia’s critical minerals sector.

  • STEM Workforce – $55.6 million in the Building Women’s Careers Program focussed on clean economy industries, and $38.2 million over eight years to foster a diverse and skilled workforce based on the Pathway to Diversity in STEM Review.

  • Advanced Manufacturing - $500 million for a Battery Breakthrough initiative, $1 billion for a Solar Sunshot program and a further $1.7 billion under a Future Made in Australia Innovation Fund to support new clean economy manufacturing.

  • R&D Review – The Government will also commission a strategic examination of Australia’s Research & Development system to maximise the impact of science, research and innovation in Australia.

  • Migration System Reforms - $18.3 million to deliver reforms intended to restore integrity and deliver greater economic prosperity through Australia’s skilled migration system. This will include a National Innovation Visa and changes to better meet temporary skills shortages. The Budget allocates 70 percent of the migration cap to the Skill stream and extends the planning horizon from one to four years from 2026.

  • Nature Positive reforms - $40.9 million to continue implementation of the Government’s Nature Positive Plan.

  • Circular economy – $23 million to continue development of a new Circular Economy Framework.

Resources funding in context

  • Resources sector spending is part of a $22.7 billion Future Made in Australia net-zero industrial policy, which includes financial, regulatory and other measures to support the nation’s critical minerals, energy and manufacturing sectors.
  • The Government achieved a $9.3 billion surplus for the 2024-25 fiscal off the back of high commodity prices and increased corporate and personal income tax revenue.
  • The Federal Budget will return to deficit from 2025-26 as prices for iron ore, coal and other commodity exports ease.

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