Digital, AI feature heavily in federal budget

By on 12 May, 2021

Image courtesy Ch’enMeng/mikemacmarketing/Liam Huang/Wikimedia Commons, CC BY 2.0

The federal government has outlined a raft of incentives and grants programs for the digital economy in its annual budget, announced on Tuesday, May 11.

According to government statements, almost $1.2 billion will be invested in “Australia’s digital future” through the Digital Economy Strategy.

“Every business in Australia is now a digital business,” said the Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, including those who use geospatial services such as “The farmer who keeps track of their herd with electronic tags or drones.”

“This transformation is not merely a national one that needs to happen — it’s a global one that is happening.

“We must keep our foot on the digital accelerator to secure our economic recovery from COVID-19.”

Key initiatives include:

  • $35.7 million to support emerging aviation technologies such as drones, including grants to support their use to address needs in regional Australia.
  • More than $100 million to boost workforce digital skills, including a pilot program for work-based digital cadetships.
  • $124.1 million in AI initiatives, including a National Artificial Intelligence Centre led by CSIRO Data 61, supported by AI and Digital Capability Centres.

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