Australian Government, 2013-14 Budget
Budget

Part 2: Expense Measures (Continued)

Industry, Innovation, Climate Change, Science, Research and Tertiary Education

A Plan for Australian Jobs — Clinical Trials Reform in Australia

Expense ($m)
  2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17
Department of Industry, Innovation, Climate Change, Science, Research and Tertiary Education 0.1 1.7 1.1 0.7 0.1
National Health and Medical Research Council 1.1 1.1 1.0 1.1
Department of Health and Ageing 0.4 0.3 0.5
Independent Hospital Pricing Authority 0.2 0.3
Total — Expense 0.3 3.5 2.5 2.3 1.2

The Government will provide $9.9 million over five years to improve the clinical trials environment in Australia by implementing recommendations of the 2011 Clinical Trials Action Group report. The measure will provide funding for:

  • implementing a standardised cost structure for conducting clinical trials to improve the ability of the clinical trials community to budget and negotiate costs with hospitals when establishing clinical trials across multiple sites in Australia;
  • incorporating clinical research needs into the e‑health system through changes to the Personally Controlled Electronic Health Record including to: allow access to de‑identified demographic data to determine where to set up a clinical trial; secure access to individual nominated records; and enable remote access, particularly for multi‑centre trials and those involving remotely located patients;
  • enabling greater participation and engagement in clinical trials through a pilot project to develop a national interactive clinical trials web portal;
  • improving how clinical trials are conducted and the timeliness of the approval processes for clinical trials in Australia; and
  • enhancing the capacity of the National Health and Medical Research Council to work with states, territories and other stakeholders on a nationally consistent approach to clinical trials.

Further information can be found in the joint press release of 17 February 2013 issued by the Prime Minister, the Deputy Prime Minister and Treasurer and the Minister for Industry and Innovation on A Plan for Australian Jobs — The Australian Government's Industry and Innovation Statement.

A Plan for Australian Jobs — Enterprise Solutions Program — establishment

Expense ($m)
  2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17
Department of Industry, Innovation, Climate Change, Science, Research and Tertiary Education 2.3 7.7 10.2 7.5

The Government will provide $29.4 million over five years (including $1.7 million in 2017‑18) to establish the Enterprise Solutions Program to help innovative small to medium enterprises overcome barriers and become more competitive in bidding for government services and tenders. Grants of up to $100,000 for feasibility studies and up to $1.0 million for proof of concept will be provided to enterprises to develop innovative solutions for the future needs of government entities.

This measure is in response to the report of the non‑Government members of the Prime Minister's Manufacturing Taskforce.

See also the related savings measure titled Research and Development (R&D) Tax Incentive — new eligibility criteria.

Further information can be found in the joint press release of 17 February 2013 issued by the Prime Minister, the Deputy Prime Minister and Treasurer, and the Minister for Industry and Innovation on A Plan for Australian Jobs — The Australian Government's Industry and Innovation Statement.

A Plan for Australian Jobs — Industry Innovation Precincts — establishment

Expense ($m)
  2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17
Department of Industry, Innovation, Climate Change, Science, Research and Tertiary Education 2.9 35.4 58.6 63.3 78.3

The Government will provide $238.4 million over five years to establish five Industry Innovation Precincts that build on Australia's strengths in innovation and five new Industry Innovation Precincts that focus on emerging opportunities. The precincts will bring together businesses, higher education and research institutions, business service providers and government agencies to promote productivity and growth by building critical mass in Australian industry and by developing a cohort of world class growth orientated businesses. This measure includes:

  • up to $4.0 million per annum to be provided to each Industry Innovation Precinct and up to $1.5 million per annum to each emerging Industry Innovation Precinct for operating and administration costs;
  • the establishment of an Industry Collaboration Fund, with funding building to $50.0 million per annum by 2016‑17. Precincts will be able to bid, on a competitive basis, for funding from the fund for large‑scale, high‑impact industry collaboration projects; and
  • the creation of an internet based Industry Innovation Network to connect geographically dispersed precinct members by providing a platform for sharing information, knowledge, support and services.

This measure is in response to the report of the non‑Government members of the Prime Minister's Manufacturing Taskforce.

See also the related savings measure titled Research and Development (R&D) Tax Incentive — new eligibility criteria.

Further information can be found in the joint press release of 17 February 2013 issued by the Prime Minister, the Deputy Prime Minister and Treasurer and the Minister for Industry and Innovation on A Plan for Australian Jobs — The Australian Government's Industry and Innovation Statement.

A Plan for Australian Jobs — Information Campaign

Expense ($m)
  2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17
Department of Industry, Innovation, Climate Change, Science, Research and Tertiary Education 10.0

The Government will provide $10.0 million to undertake a national advertising campaign to promote awareness of the Government's initiative, A Plan for Australian Jobs — The Australian Government's Industry and Innovation Statement, announced on 17 February 2013. The information campaign will run on a number of media platforms to ensure that businesses, research institutions, individual employers and employees are aware of the initiative and the assistance available under the Plan.

A Plan for Australian Jobs — opening up opportunities through Australian Industry Participation

Expense ($m)
  2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17
Department of Industry, Innovation, Climate Change, Science, Research and Tertiary Education 1.1 19.5 19.7 27.8 28.1
Department of Industry, Innovation, Climate Change, Science, Research and Tertiary Education 2.1

The Government will provide $98.2 million over five years (including $2.1 million in capital in 2013‑14) to continue funding for a number of industry assistance programs ($81.0 million) and to establish a new Australian Industry Participation (AIP) agency to administer these programs ($17.2 million). The funding will assist Australian industry to access a greater share of the work associated with major industry and infrastructure projects across all industry sectors.

The measure includes $3.0 million to continue the existing AIP plan arrangements as well as an additional $6.4 million to extend AIP plans to all major industry projects with capital expenditure of $500 million or more.

The measure also includes:

  • $29.1 million to continue funding 11 Supplier Advocates to champion Australian industry in the marketplace;
  • $19.2 million to extend the Enterprise Connect program to the Transport and Logistics, Information Communication and Technology, and Professional Services sectors;
  • $13.2 million to continue funding for a Resource Sector Supplier Envoy and the Resource Sector Supplier Advisory Forum; and
  • $9.9 million to continue activities funded through the Industry Capability Network Limited.

This measure is part of the Government's response to the report of the non‑Government members of the Prime Minister's Manufacturing Taskforce.

See also the related savings measures titled Research and Development Tax Incentive — new eligibility criteria.

Further information can be found in the joint press release of 17 February 2013 issued by the Prime Minister, the Deputy Prime Minister and Treasurer, and the Minister for Industry and Innovation on A Plan for Australian Jobs — The Australian Government's Industry and Innovation Statement.

A Plan for Australian Jobs — Services Leaders Group — establishment

Expense ($m)
  2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17
Department of Industry, Innovation, Climate Change, Science, Research and Tertiary Education 0.3 1.1 1.2 1.5 1.6

The Government will provide $5.6 million over five years to establish a Services Leaders Group (SLG) to consult with the services sector and advise the Government on service sector issues.

The SLG will comprise 18 ministerially appointed government, industry, union and research institute members. It will be supported by three task groups that will manage programs of research into sector issues. Both the SLG and task groups will meet on average twice per year.

This measure is in response to the report of the non‑Government members of the Prime Minister's Manufacturing Taskforce.

See also the related savings measures titled Research and Development Tax Incentive — new eligibility criteria.

Further information can be found in the joint press release of 17 February 2013 issued by the Prime Minister, the Deputy Prime Minister and Treasuer, and the Minister for Industry and Innovation on A Plan for Australian Jobs — The Australian Government's Industry and Innovation Statement.

A Plan for Australian Jobs — Venture Australia — extension and enhancement

Expense ($m)
  2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17
Department of Industry, Innovation, Climate Change, Science, Research and Tertiary Education 2.4 1.6 2.3 1.8

The Government will provide $378.6 million (including $350.0 million in administered capital) over 15 years for the Venture Australia program to stimulate innovation and entrepreneurial activity to support the development of new competitive firms in Australia. The package of measures includes:

  • $350.0 million for a new round of the Innovation Investment Fund (IIF) program to stimulate venture capital investment;
  • changes to venture capital tax concession programs to provide additional clarity and certainty for investment and facilitate participation by angel investor syndicates;
  • $3.2 million over 15 years for the promotion and marketing of success stories in the Australian innovation system to encourage investment in Australian firms; and
  • $25.4 million over 15 years for the Department of Industry, Innovation, Climate Change, Science, Research and Tertiary Education to administer the package.

The Government expects the new round of funding will attract a co‑investment of at least an additional $350.0 million in matching capital from the private sector, resulting in $700.0 million being available for venture capital investments. The administered capital provided through the IIF program involves the acquisition of financial assets, which has no immediate impact on the fiscal balance.

Further information can be found in the joint press release of 17 February 2013 issued by the Prime Minister, the Deputy Prime Minister and Treasurer and the Minister for Industry and Innovation on A Plan for Australian Jobs — The Australian Government's Industry and Innovation Statement.

See also the related revenue measure titled A Plan for Australian Jobs — Venture Australia — Enhancing taxation arrangements in the Treasury portfolio.

Acacia Park Industrial Estate Armidale contribution towards enhanced communications capacity

Expense ($m)
  2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17
Department of Industry, Innovation, Climate Change, Science, Research and Tertiary Education 0.2

The Government will provide $220,000 in 2013‑14 to support regional firms and jobs at the Acacia Park Industrial Estate Armidale, New South Wales. Funding will help meet the cost of extending fibre technology to the Acacia Park Industrial Estate Armidale.

Apprenticeships — Alternative Pathways Program — establishment

Expense ($m)
  2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17
Department of Industry, Innovation, Climate Change, Science, Research and Tertiary Education 13.2 19.4 18.1 18.1

The Government will provide $68.8 million over four years to establish an Alternative Pathways Program to support the development and trial of flexible training pathways for Australian apprentices in high demand industries experiencing skills shortages.

Up to $50.6 million will be provided, under a competitive grants process, to peak industry bodies and large employers to develop and trial innovative approaches to training for approximately 4,000 apprentices over four years. An additional $2,000 per apprentice will be available for employers to encourage their participation in the program.

The program will allow individual industries and larger employers to develop training programs tailored to their needs that utilise more flexible combinations of on and off the job training than is currently available through traditional apprenticeships.

A reference group consisting of representatives from the Commonwealth and state and territory governments, training providers and peak industry bodies will be established to support the development of the program.

Australia in the Asian Century — AsiaBound Grants and changes to OS‑HELP

Expense ($m)
  2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17
Department of Industry, Innovation, Climate Change, Science, Research and Tertiary Education 13.1
Department of Industry, Innovation, Climate Change, Science, Research and Tertiary Education 1.5

The Government will provide $58.1 million over four years from 2013‑14 to encourage and support students to study in Asia and undertake Asian language courses. This measure includes:

  • additional grants, of between $2,000 and $5,000, for students undertaking short or semester‑length study exchanges in Asia and grants of $1,000 for preparatory Asian language study;
  • expanding eligibility for access to OS‑HELP, the higher education loan program for students studying overseas, and increasing the amounts that students studying in Asia can borrow;
  • providing $3.0 million to Universities Australia to implement a national information and promotion strategy to inform students of the changes to OS‑HELP and to promote Asia as a study destination; and
  • departmental funding of $1.2 million to support the implementation of this measure.

Funding of $37.1 million over three years from 2013‑14 was reflected in the forward estimates in the Mid‑Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook 2012‑13, with a further $9.3 million over four years from 2013‑14 to be provided from within the existing resourcing of the Department of Industry, Innovation, Climate Change, Science, Research and Tertiary Education.

Further information can be found in the Australia in the Asian Century White Paper of 28 October 2012 issued by the Prime Minister.

This measure forms part of the Government's strategy to take advantage of the opportunities offered by the Asian century.

Australia in the Asian Century — strengthening connections and opportunities in training and skills

Expense ($m)
  2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17
Department of Industry, Innovation, Climate Change, Science, Research and Tertiary Education

The Government will provide $1.8 million over three years from 2012‑13 to support the harmonisation of vocational education and training (VET) standards and skills recognition between corresponding industry sectors in Australia and Asia.

The cost of this measure will be met from within the existing resourcing of the Department of Industry, Innovation, Climate Change, Science, Research and Tertiary Education.

Further information can be found in the Australia in the Asian Century White Paper of
28 October 2012 issued by the Prime Minister.

This measure forms part of the Government's strategy to take advantage of the opportunities offered by the Asian century.

Australian Institute of Marine Science — additional operational funding

Expense ($m)
  2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17
Australian Institute of Marine Science 1.5 8.5 10.1 10.9

The Government will provide $30.9 million over four years to increase the base level funding for the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) to meet the increasing cost of marine research, including the operation of two purpose—built coastal research vessels and specialised marine laboratories.

This measure also includes $1.5 million in 2013—14 for the commissioning and operation of the National Tropical Sea Simulator, a marine research aquarium facility currently under construction at AIMS' headquarters in Townsville.

Australian Maritime College — additional funding

Expense ($m)
  2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17
Department of Industry, Innovation, Climate Change, Science, Research and Tertiary Education 2.8 2.9 3.0 3.1

The Government will provide $11.9 million over four years to the Australian Maritime College to support the delivery of specialised training to maritime students.

The Australian Maritime College, an institute of the University of Tasmania, is the pre‑eminent maritime training institution in Australia. This funding will support the College in its continued delivery of training to develop and maintain the skills base needed to keep Australia's maritime industry growing.

Further information can be found in the joint press release of 2 May 2013 issued by the Prime Minister, the Minister for Infrastructure, the Member for Bass and the Member for Lyons.

Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation — additional funding for decommissioning and nuclear waste management activities

Expense ($m)
  2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17
Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation

The Government will provide $28.7 million over four years to the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) for the management of nuclear liabilities. The funding will be used to continue the decommissioning of ANSTO's retired High Flux Australian Reactor and other existing nuclear facilities, the pre‑disposal conditioning of existing radioactive waste in preparation for long term storage and disposal, and for the clean‑up of buildings and infrastructure containing hazardous materials.

This measure does not have an impact on the fiscal balance as expenses were recognised in prior years, but will have an impact on the underlying cash balance of $28.7 million over four years from 2013‑14.

Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation — additional funding support

Expense ($m)
  2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17
Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation 8.1

The Government will provide $8.1 million in 2013‑14 to the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation to meet the increasing costs of operating the Open Pool Australian Lightwater (OPAL) nuclear research reactor. The cost of nuclear fuel and electricity has increased significantly in recent years and the funding will ensure OPAL operates at full capacity to deliver benefits to the Australian community.

OPAL uses low enriched uranium fuel to produce neutrons for nuclear medicine production, as well as for environmental, medical and materials research.

Australian Research Council — Future Fellowships scheme — continuation

Expense ($m)
  2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17
Australian Research Council 1.7 31.8 32.8 33.9

The Government will provide $135.3 million over five years (including $35.1 million in 2017‑18) to continue the Future Fellowships scheme in 2014. Up to 150 additional four‑year fellowships, with an estimated value of up to $211,266 per annum, will be offered to outstanding mid‑career researchers to conduct their research in Australia. In addition, each researcher's administering institution will receive up to $50,000 per annum for costs directly related to the future fellow's research including infrastructure, equipment and travel.

The Future Fellowships scheme aims to attract and retain the best Australian and international mid‑career researchers, who might otherwise choose to work overseas. The scheme supports research in areas of crucial national importance.

Australian Research Council — system standardisation

Expense ($m)
  2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17
Australian Research Council ‑1.9 ‑2.6 ‑2.6 ‑2.7
Australian Research Council 1.9 2.6 2.6 2.7

The Government will provide $14.2 million over four years from 2013‑14 to allow the Australian Research Council (ARC) to improve and upgrade its Information and Communications Technology (ICT) systems. The new system will replace the current manual processes with automated systems, implement a new electronic document records management system and integrate separate computer systems across the agency.

The new ICT system will deliver to the research sector a modern and efficient application process, supporting the full lifecycle of grant applications, management and reporting.

The cost of this measure will be met from within the existing resourcing of the ARC by reallocating administered expenses to departmental expenses and capital.

Australian Skills Centres of Excellence — redirection

Expense ($m)
  2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17
Department of Industry, Innovation, Climate Change, Science, Research and Tertiary Education ‑6.0 ‑6.0 ‑6.0

The Government will redirect funding for the Australian Skills Centres of Excellence program from 1 July 2013, to provide savings of $18.0 million over three years.

Australian Skills Centres of Excellence were to be established from 1 July 2013 to support innovative production processes and teaching and learning methods in the Vocational Education and Training (VET) sector. The Government will continue to fund VET initiatives under the National Partnership Agreement on Skills Reform, which provides $1.75 billion over five years to support a higher quality training system and enhanced access to training opportunities and completions.

Savings will be redirected to the establishment of the Apprenticeships — Alternative Pathways program.

Australian Skills Quality Authority — cost recovery arrangements

Expense ($m)
  2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17
Department of Industry, Innovation, Climate Change, Science, Research and Tertiary Education ‑5.0 ‑10.0
National Vocational Education and Training Regulator (Australian Skills Quality Authority) ‑5.0 ‑10.0

The Government will redirect $15.0 million over two years from the National Training System Commonwealth Own Purpose Expenditure to the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) to offset a projected shortfall in cost recovery revenue in 2012‑13 and 2013‑14. This will allow ASQA to maintain existing activities to regulate the vocational education and training sector and to gradually transition to full cost recovery.

Charles Sturt University — Food, Soil and Water Research Centre

Expense ($m)
  2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17
Department of Industry, Innovation, Climate Change, Science, Research and Tertiary Education 5.9

The Government will provide $5.9 million in 2012‑13 to Charles Sturt University to support the Food, Soil and Water Research Centre project. The project will allow Charles Sturt University to expand its Port Macquarie campus and improve the university's capacity to conduct research into regional, national and global food, soil and water challenges with local, national and international partners.

See also the related savings measure titled Vocational Education and Training National Support — redirection of funding.

Clean Technology Program — reprofile funding

Expense ($m)
  2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17
Department of Industry, Innovation, Climate Change, Science, Research and Tertiary Education ‑58.0 160.0 ‑60.0 ‑100.0

The Government will reprofile funding under the Clean Technology Program to allow industry to access support for clean energy investment and research and development projects earlier and to more closely align funding with anticipated demand. The movement of $58.0 million from 2012‑13 to 2017‑18 reflects alterations to program design to pay in arrears upon achievement of specified milestones.

The Clean Technology Program will still provide $1.2 billion over seven years from 2011‑12 to assist manufacturing industries transition to a low carbon economy by supporting the adoption and deployment of technologies to improve energy and carbon efficiency at manufacturing facilities.

This measure is part of the reforms to the Clean Energy Future Package due to the lower projected carbon price estimates.

Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation — Marine National Facility — operational funding

Expense ($m)
  2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17
Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation 12.1

The Government will provide $12.1 million to the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) to conduct sea trials of Australia's new Marine National Facility (MNF) vessel, the RV Investigator.

The RV Investigator is a new research vessel owned and operated by the CSIRO that will be available to marine scientists to explore and study Australia's oceans. It will replace the current research vessel, the RV Southern Surveyor, which will be decommissioned in 2013‑14.

Diamond Energy — assistance

Expense ($m)
  2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17
Department of Industry, Innovation, Climate Change, Science, Research and Tertiary Education

The Government will provide $0.9 million over three years from 2012‑13 to support Diamond Energy, a small‑scale clean energy and electricity retailer, to transition to a new business model following the closure of the New South Wales Government's Greenhouse Gas Abatement Scheme (GGAS). GGAS accreditation had enabled Diamond Energy to enter into commercial arrangements to finance the conversion of biogas into renewable energy.

The cost of this measure will be offset from a reduction in funding for the Carbon Farming Skills.

Funding for this measure was included as a 'decision taken but not yet announced' in the Mid‑Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook 2012‑13.

Education Investment Fund — return of unallocated funds

Expense ($m)
  2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17
Department of Industry, Innovation, Climate Change, Science, Research and Tertiary Education ‑46.1 ‑46.8 ‑66.2

The Government will achieve savings of $159.1 million from the Education Investment Fund (EIF) component of the Solar Flagships program by returning unallocated funding to the EIF. The Solar Flagships program is now part of the Australian Renewable Energy Agency.

The EIF component of the Solar Flagships program was established in 2009 with funding of $200.0 million over four years to provide research infrastructure funding to successful applicants. To date, only $40.9 million in funding has been allocated to successful projects.

This measure is part of the reforms to the Clean Energy Future Package due to the lower projected carbon price estimates.

Enterprise Connect Innovative Regions Centre in Western Sydney — establishment

Expense ($m)
  2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17
Department of Industry, Innovation, Climate Change, Science, Research and Tertiary Education

The Government will provide $1.5 million over four years from 2012‑13 to establish an Enterprise Connect Innovative Regions Centre (IRC) in Western Sydney, expanding the number of innovative regions across Australia to 11.

The IRC will bring together regional stakeholders including industry organisations, local governments, businesses and training providers to develop an innovative plan for the Western Sydney region. Through expert facilitators, the IRC will also provide direct assistance to small to medium enterprises to develop new products, technologies, skills and ideas to capitalise on business opportunities in the region.

The cost of this measure will be met from within the existing resources of the Department of Industry, Innovation, Climate Change, Science, Research and Tertiary Education.

Further information can be found in the joint press release of 7 March 2013 issued by the Prime Minister and the Minister for Industry and Innovation.

HECS‑HELP Discount and Voluntary HELP Repayment Bonus — ending discounting

Expense ($m)
  2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17
Australian Taxation Office 0.9 0.3 0.2 0.2
Department of Industry, Innovation, Climate Change, Science, Research and Tertiary Education ‑31.2 ‑64.7 ‑68.4 ‑72.3
Total — Expense ‑30.2 ‑64.4 ‑68.2 ‑72.1
Department of Industry, Innovation, Climate Change, Science, Research and Tertiary Education 3.1 13.1 25.6
Australian Taxation Office
Total — Revenue 3.1 13.1 25.6

The Government will remove the discounts applying to up‑front and voluntary payments made under the Higher Education Loan Program (HELP) from
1 January 2014. This is estimated to achieve savings of $276.7 million over four years in fiscal balance terms and $228.3 million over four years in underlying cash terms. The following discounts will be removed:

  • the 10 per cent discount available to students electing to pay their student contribution up‑front; and
  • the 5 per cent bonus on voluntary payments to the Australian Taxation Office of $500 or more.

Under HELP, students choosing not to pay up‑front can take out a concessional loan to pay their student contribution, which will be repaid gradually when their assessable income exceeds a minimum repayment threshold ($49,096 in 2012‑13).

Savings from this measure will be redirected to the Better Schools — National Plan for School Improvement package.

Further information can be found in the press release of 13 April 2013 issued by the Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, Science and Research.

Higher Education Support Act 2003 — efficiency dividend

Expense ($m)
  2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17
Department of Industry, Innovation, Climate Change, Science, Research and Tertiary Education ‑84.9 ‑227.6 ‑290.4 ‑299.8

The Government will apply an efficiency dividend of 2.0 per cent in 2014 and 1.25 per cent in 2015 to all grants provided under the Higher Education Support Act 2003 (HESA), with the exception of grants under the Australian Postgraduate Awards and superannuation payments to universities. This is estimated to achieve savings of $902.7 million over four years.

All grants provided under HESA will continue to be indexed by the Higher Education Grants Index, which will provide ongoing increases in funding to the higher education sector.

Since 2007, funding for higher education (including the Higher Education Loan Program) has increased from $8.1 billion to $13.3 billion in 2012, a growth of more than 64 per cent.

Savings from this measure will be redirected to the Better Schools — National Plan for School Improvement package.

Further information can be found in the press release of 13 April 2013 issued by the Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, Science and Research.

Leveraging Australia's Global Expat Platform — Advance — continuation of support

Expense ($m)
  2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17
Department of Industry, Innovation, Climate Change, Science, Research and Tertiary Education 1.0 0.8 0.5

The Government will provide $2.3 million over three years to continue its support for Advance, a not‑for‑profit organisation that provides services to a global network of more than 20,000 expatriate Australians. This funding builds on the $3.0 million provided in the Mid‑Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook 2010‑11.

Funding under this measure will contribute to three projects:

  • continue to build the world's largest database of Australian expatriate alumni;
  • assist Australian companies to commercialise their innovations internationally; and
  • activities to support the Government's Asian Century objectives, including global forums and conferences, and a social entrepreneurship platform.

National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy — continuation

Expense ($m)
  2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17
Department of Industry, Innovation, Climate Change, Science, Research and Tertiary Education 82.9 102.9

The Government will provide $185.9 million over two years to continue the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy, which funds the operation and maintenance of critical national research infrastructure. This funding will allow the most critical existing research facilities to continue to deliver maximum benefits to the research community.

A review and evaluation will be undertaken to plan and manage strategic, long‑term future funding and investments in research infrastructure, in line with the National Research Investment Plan.

Priority postgraduate and sub‑bachelor courses — additional places

Expense ($m)
  2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17
Department of Industry, Innovation, Climate Change, Science, Research and Tertiary Education 11.7 23.8 24.6 25.4
Department of Industry, Innovation, Climate Change, Science, Research and Tertiary Education 0.1 0.3 0.5

The Government will provide $96.7 million over five years (including $12.1 million in 2017‑18) to increase the number of Commonwealth supported places in postgraduate and sub‑bachelor courses by around 1,650 additional places each year from 2014 to 2017. The places will be allocated by the Government to priority areas, including teacher education and language courses. The distribution of places will be negotiated with individual universities in the context of 2014‑16 funding agreements.

This measure also includes the cost of providing eligible students with income support and loans under the Higher Education Loan Program.

Skills Connect Fund — establishment

Expense ($m)
  2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17
Department of Industry, Innovation, Climate Change, Science, Research and Tertiary Education

The Government will provide $45.0 million in 2013‑14 to establish the Skills Connect Fund (SCF) to streamline access to the five workforce development programs available under Australian Government Skills Connect. The five programs are the National Workforce Development Fund, the Workforce English Language and the Literacy Program, the Investing in Experience (Skills Recognition and Training) initiative, the Accelerated Australian Apprenticeships initiative and the Australian Apprenticeships Mentoring Program.

The SCF will enable employers to apply for funding on a co‑contribution basis to increase the skill level of their workforce, based on the negotiated needs of employers and employees. Eligible employers will have access to up to five different training and workforce development programs through a single application process and under a single set of guidelines, reducing the administrative burden.

Funding for this measure will be provided by a redirection of funding from within the Vocational Education and Training National Support program.

Student Start‑up Scholarships — conversion to Income Contingent Loans

Expense ($m)
  2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17
Department of Human Services 0.6 5.5 2.6 3.4 3.6
Australian Taxation Office 4.1 0.7 0.5 0.4
Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations ‑0.9 ‑4.3 ‑5.6 ‑5.5
Department of Industry, Innovation, Climate Change, Science, Research and Tertiary Education ‑46.5 ‑231.7 ‑423.1 ‑481.3
Total — Expense 0.6 ‑37.7 ‑232.7 ‑424.8 ‑482.8
Department of Industry, Innovation, Climate Change, Science, Research and Tertiary Education 0.6 3.6 9.5
Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations .. .. 0.1
Australian Taxation Office
Department of Human Services
Total — Revenue 0.6 3.6 9.7
Department of Human Services 0.4 3.4 0.1
Australian Taxation Office 1.0
Total — Capital 0.4 4.5 0.1

The current Student Start‑up Scholarships (SSS) program will be converted into an income contingent loan program. SSS will be offered as income contingent loans to full‑time higher education students in receipt of Youth Allowance, Austudy or ABSTUDY. This is estimated to provide savings of $1,186.3 million over five years to 2016‑17.

Currently, the SSS is a grant that is paid in two instalments of $1,025 per year to Youth Allowance, Austudy and ABSTUDY recipients undertaking higher education courses. Replacing the grant payment with income contingent loans will ensure that students continue to have access to the same level of financial assistance while studying. Students will not be required to make any repayments on the loans until their income is above the repayment threshold for the Higher Education Loan Program (HELP) ($49,096 in 2012‑13) and until they have repaid their HELP debt.

This measure will only apply to new recipients of Youth Allowance, Austudy and ABSTUDY from 1 January 2014. Current recipients and new recipients up to
31 December 2013 will continue to receive the scholarships while they remain on their income support payments.

Savings from this measure will be redirected to the Better Schools — A National Plan for School Improvement package.

Further information can be found in the press release of 13 April 2013 issued by the Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, Science and Research.

The Conversation — funding support

Expense ($m)
  2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17
Department of Industry, Innovation, Climate Change, Science, Research and Tertiary Education
Australian Taxation Office
Total — Expense
Australian Taxation Office ‑0.3 ‑0.5 ‑0.5 ‑0.5

The Government will provide $2.0 million over two years to help support The Conversation. Launched in March 2011, The Conversation is a not‑for‑profit company providing independent analysis, commentary and news sourced from the university and research sector and delivered free to the public.

Since the Mid‑Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook 2012‑13, the Government has also approved the Conversation Trust to be a specifically listed deductible gift recipient (DGR). Taxpayers may claim an income tax deduction for certain gifts of money or property to DGRs. This measure is estimated to have a cost to revenue of $1.8 million over the forward estimates period.

The cost of the expenditure will be met from within the existing resourcing of the Department of Industry, Innovation, Climate Change, Science, Research and Tertiary Education.

Vocational Education and Training National Support — redirection of funding

Expense ($m)
  2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17
Department of Industry, Innovation, Climate Change, Science, Research and Tertiary Education ‑5.9

The Government will redirect $5.9 million in 2012‑13 from the Vocational Education and Training (VET) National Support Programs to support the Food, Soil and Water Research Centre project at Charles Sturt University.

VET National Programs provide financial support for activities aimed at strengthening the National Training System through: support for industry, joint Commonwealth/State funding for group training, equity funding and VET system support. Support for the VET sector will continue to be provided through the $1.75 billion National Partnership Agreement on Skills Reform and the National Agreement on Skills and Workforce Development, which commenced on 1 July 2012.

See also the related expense measure titled Charles Sturt University — Food, Soil and Water Research Centre in the Industry, Innovation, Climate Change, Science, Research and Tertiary Education portfolio.

Vodafone Hutchison Australia — Tasmanian call centre expansion

Expense ($m)
  2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17
Department of Industry, Innovation, Climate Change, Science, Research and Tertiary Education

The Government will provide $4.0 million in 2012‑13 to support Vodafone Hutchison Australia to expand its call centre operations at Kingston in Tasmania, creating 750 new customer service jobs. The expansion will more than double employment at the Kingston call centre, which currently employs over 680 people. In addition, the Tasmanian Government will provide $850,000 for infrastructure costs and waive payroll tax for Vodafone's new employees.

Further information can be found in the joint press release of 1 March 2013 issued by the Prime Minister and the Minister for Industry and Innovation.

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