Budget 2023-24: Budget promotes energy security and low-carbon future
The Albanese Government’s second Budget lays the foundations for a stronger future by taking further steps to help Australia capitalise on the transformation to cleaner, cheaper energy and promote energy security.
The road to net zero runs through the resources sector. After a decade of delay and inaction under the Liberals and Nationals, the Albanese Government is providing the leadership, investment and policy certainty the sector needs to thrive.
We’re developing the critical minerals industry needs to make batteries and other green technologies - an integral part of our plan for Australia to become a renewable energy superpower.
Our vision is for an Australian resources sector that continues to grow national prosperity, supports jobs and opportunities and drives the global transformation to net zero.
We want to ensure the resources sector continues to lead on climate response, First Nations engagement and environmental protection.
Key Budget measures include:
- Funding for the operations of the Critical Minerals Office and the Australian Radioactive Waste Agency (ARWA).
- The development of a Future Gas Strategy.
- A review of environmental management regulatory frameworks for offshore resources.
- Ongoing support for the economic development of Northern Australia.
Critical minerals including rare earths are crucial components of low-emissions technologies such as batteries, electric vehicles and solar panels. They will be increasingly important to global efforts to decarbonise and reach Paris commitments. Australia has vast reserves of critical minerals. Building the sector by generating new downstream industries and diversifying global supply chains will help Australia achieve net zero commitments. Budget funding includes:
- $57.1 million for the established Critical Minerals International Partnerships Program. This is aimed at stepping up international engagement, to attract investment from like-minded partners and accelerate projects of strategic interest.
- $21.2 million to ensure the ongoing operations of the Critical Minerals Office – which is driving policies, programs and international engagement.
- $2.2 million for Treasury to establish data analysis capabilities, to track foreign investment patterns and compliance in the critical minerals sector.
Minister King will soon release Australia’s new critical minerals strategy, which will outline how Australia can seize the great opportunity to leverage our critical minerals to feed global demand for clean energy while creating new industries and jobs in Australia.
Net zero ready regulatory frameworks
Australia has a robust regulatory framework for offshore oil, gas, and carbon capture and storage activities. As this sector transforms, it is imperative that our regulations are fit-for purpose for a decarbonising economy.
Budget funding includes:
- $12 million for a review of the environmental management regime for offshore petroleum and greenhouse gas storage activities, with a particular focus on the consultation, including with First Nations Australians.
The review will examine opportunities for regulatory and administrative certainty and efficiency for carbon capture and storage projects.
Gas plays an important part of Australia’s energy mix. The flexibility of gas as a firming fuel and a key manufacturing input will be required as the transition accelerates domestically, and in our region. Adequate gas supply also assists Australia and its international partners to process critical minerals and manufacture the wind turbines, batteries and other clean energy technologies that will play a critical role in reaching net zero emissions.
Recognising this, the Australian Government will provide:
- $6.7 million to develop a Future Gas Strategy to support Australia’s energy system to reach 82 per cent renewables by 2030 and become cleaner, cheaper and more reliable while maintaining our international reputation as a trusted energy supplier to the region.
- $14.3 million to partner with the Queensland Government, supporting research and development into reducing emissions in Australia’s energy resources sector.
The Albanese Government is working to ensure that offshore oil and gas infrastructure is decommissioned in an environmentally responsible and safe way.
Australia expects an estimated $60 billion of offshore petroleum decommissioning activity to occur over the next 30 to 50 years.
In response, the Budget will invest up to $4.5 million to develop a Roadmap for Establishing a Decommissioning Industry in Australia.
The roadmap will identify ways Australia can benefit from the $60 billion projected expenditure, any repurposing, recycling and waste disposal pathways for decommissioned infrastructure, and opportunities to re-skill oil and gas workers for an emerging decommissioning industry.
The Budget also includes funding in 2023-24 for ongoing work to decommission the Northern Endeavour Floating Production Storage and Offtake platform. The funding will be recouped over time by the existing Laminaria and Corallina Decommissioning Levy.
The vast majority of Australia’s radioactive waste is a by-product of nuclear medicine for treatment of cancer. Australia has an obligation to manage and dispose of its radioactive waste in a safe and secure manner.
Yet the previous Government failed to fund this disposal. Without intervention by the Albanese Government, funding to manage Australia’s nuclear waste was set to come to an end this year.
The 2023-24 Budget includes $320.4 million to fund a responsible and sustainable approach for the long-term management and permanent disposal of the Commonwealth’s radioactive waste. This provides ongoing funding for the Australian Radioactive Waste Agency (ARWA).
The Government retained an additional$2 billion in last October’s Budget for the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF) to support the Government’s regional and developing Northern Australia agendas.
The 2023-24 Budget affirms the Government’s commitment to a refresh of theOur Future, Our North: White Paper on Developing Northern Australia. This aligns with our policy priorities including strengthening First Nations engagement for advancement and focusing on climate action.
A refresh of the Northern Australia agenda will be a collaborative effort to enhance liveability and prosperity for the north.