Statement 1: Budget Overview (Continued)
The Australian Government is investing $1 billion through its Industry and Innovation Statement, A Plan for Australian Jobs, to support and create jobs.
The Government has assisted Australian businesses win work on major Government, and Government‑funded, projects through requirements for Australian Industry Participation Plans that outline how local companies will get a fair chance of winning work.
More opportunities will be created for local firms through new laws that will require any project in Australia worth $500 million or more to include an Australian Industry Participation Plan. Additional new work, worth $1.6 billion a year, could be won by Australian businesses. Global companies with projects worth more than $2 billion will need to involve competitive Australian companies in their global supply chains.
A new Australian Industry Participation Authority will oversee these requirements.
Australia is one of the most active countries at pursuing companies that break free trade rules and unfairly dump goods here. The Government is boosting safeguards for Australian industry by:
- establishing a new Anti‑Dumping Commission to investigate complaints;
- increasing funding to the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service for investigations; and
- introducing stronger remedies against overseas producers that deliberately breach anti‑dumping rules.
The Government has increased funding for research and innovation by 35 per cent since 2007‑08. Bringing together Australia's best research minds and most innovative businesses will build on the benefits of this research investment.
The Government will spend more than $500 million to establish up to 10 Industry Innovation Precincts to bring together industry, companies, universities, research institutions and experts in technology and business. Led by industry, these Precincts will share skills, knowledge and talent and build firms that can compete in world markets. The Government has agreed that the first two precincts will be the manufacturing precinct and the food precinct.
Australia does well in starting up new businesses, but they need help to grow and compete. The Government's Small Business Advisory Service and Enterprise Connect business support service have provided valuable assistance to new and established small to medium‑sized enterprises (SMEs).
The Government is now providing $378.6 million in new funding to stimulate private sector investment in entrepreneurial SMEs. Additionally, the Government will:
- improve tax arrangements to encourage investors to back Australian businesses;
- introduce a new $27.7 million Enterprise Solutions Program to help SMEs bid for public sector work; and
- expand the services of Enterprise Connect to cover businesses in information technology, transport, logistics and professional services.
To ensure Australia remains an attractive destination for resources investment, the Government is providing $154.0 million over four years to Geoscience Australia to support its continued investment in pre‑competitive geological information. Pre‑competitive information informs the Government's decision making on areas viable to offer for private exploration and subsequently promoting the exploration potential of those areas.
This funding will also maintain operation of the Australian Tsunami Warning System and Geoscience Australia's groundwater research and information services.
In addition to support to help Australian firms expand, the Government is investing $5.3 billion over the four years from 1 July 2012 in Job Services Australia (JSA). JSA is the national employment services system that provides jobseekers with flexible and tailored support to help them find a job. The JSA model has achieved 1.5 million job placements since its introduction in July 2009.
The Government is investing around $300 million over four years to support job seekers transition into work. This includes encouraging labour force participation by increasing the income free area under Newstart Allowance and other similar allowances from $62 per fortnight to $100 per fortnight from 20 March 2014, and indexing by CPI from 1 July 2015, so that recipients can earn more before their payment reduces; and enabling eligible single parents who have moved off payment due to earnings from employment to retain eligibility for the Pensioner Concession Card for a period of 12 weeks.
The Government is also extending the Pensioner Education Supplement to all Newstart Allowance single principal carer recipients. Payment of up to $1,622.40 in 2013 (subject to bi‑annual indexation), will help recipients with the cost of study while they gain an initial qualification to assist them to re‑enter the labour market.
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