Legal Insights

2024-2025 Australian Federal Budget highlights

By Simonetta Astolfi, Indi Prickett

• 15 May 2024 • 4 min read
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On 14 May 2024, Federal Treasurer, Jim Chalmers, unveiled the Australian Government’s Budget, against a backdrop of rising cost of living pressures. Unsurprisingly, the number one priority in the Budget is to implement measures which help Australians manage their living costs.

Measures designed to address cost of living pressures include:

  • a $300 energy bill rebate for each household;
  • a $325 energy bill rebate for 1 million small businesses;
  • tax relief for all taxpayers;
  • Commonwealth Rent Assistance payments to increase by 10%;
  • a one year freeze on the maximum Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) co-payment, meaning that the maximum co-payment for PBS medications will be $31.60 for the freeze period;
  • a five year freeze on the maximum PBS co-payment for concession card holders, meaning that the maximum co-payment for their PBS medications will be $7.70 for the freeze period;
  • freezing social security deeming rates for 12 months;
  • building 1.2 million homes over the next five years; and
  • ensuring that student loans are indexed based on the lower of the Consumer Price Index or the Wage Cost Index.

The Budget also focuses heavily on the manufacturing industry in Australia, and on the strengthening the renewable energy sector, as Australia progresses to net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. Key measures include:

  • $19.7 billion over the next ten years to accelerative investment in ‘Future Made in Australia’ priority industries, which include green hydrogen, clean energy technologies and critical minerals; and
  • $566.1 million over the next 10 years to enable Geoscience Australia to map Australia’s national groundwater systems and resource endowments.

Other key measures in the Budget include:

  • $925.2 million over five years for the Leaving Violence Program to deliver financial support for victim-survivors leaving a violent intimate partner relationship as well as support services for up to 12 weeks. Those eligible will be able to access up to $5,000 in financial support along with referral services, risk assessments and safety planning;
  • $854.3 million over the next four years for a capped, flexible demand-driven funding model for the Administrative Review Tribunal;
  • $161.3 million over the next four years to develop and implement a National Firearms Register;
  • $163.3 million over the next four years to continue critical safety works and rebuild the Macquarie Island research station to enable delivery of year-round monitoring and scientific programs;
  • $174.6 million over the next six years to deliver new water infrastructure projects;
  • $519.1 million over the next eight years for initiatives that provide improved support to farmers and their communities to manage drought and adapt to climate change;
  • $20.2 million over the next four years to the Federal Court of Australia and the Native Title Tribunal to preserve culturally and historically significant native title records and address the backlog of native title claims and post-determination disputes;
  • $1 billion over the next three years to accelerate priority investments in the targeting enterprise, long-range fires, theatre logistics, fuel resilience and robotic and autonomous systems;
  • $11.1 billion over the next ten years to deliver the Government’s response to the Independent Analysis of Navy’s Surface Combatant Fleet;
  • $222 million over the next four years to reform the legislative framework for veterans’ compensation and rehabilitation by moving to a single ongoing Act from 1 July 2026;
  • $288.1 million over the next four years to support the initial delivery of the Digital ID system and support more Australians to realise Digital ID’s economic and privacy benefits;
  • $1.4 billion over the next 13 years to enable funding to be delivered though the Medical Research Future Fund to continue to invest in life-saving medical research;
  • $138.7 million over the next four years to improve Australia’s preparedness to respond to all-hazard disasters and resilience to natural hazards;
  • $39.9 million for the development of policies and capability to support the adoption and use of artificial intelligence technology; and
  • $302.6 million over the next five years to enable operations at Western Sydney International (Nancy-Bird Walton) Airport.

We look forward to continuing to support our Commonwealth clients to deliver the agenda set in the 2024 – 25 federal Budget.

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