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What the 2024 Australian Federal Budget means for AI and the Tech Industry

We discuss funding, governance, areas for improvement, and what this Budget means for Australia's tech landscape.

The 2024 Federal Budget of Australia has emphasized a significant boost in investment towards technology, with over $2.8 billion allocated for technology systems and policy development over the next four years. This represents a notable increase from the previous year’s $2 billion. Here is a summary of the key investments and governance measures related to artificial intelligence (AI) outlined in the budget.

Investment in AI

The Federal Budget has allocated $39.9 million over five years to support the adoption of AI technology in a safe and responsible manner. Key components of this investment include:

  • National AI Centre: $21.6 million is earmarked for the reshaped National AI Centre, which aims to drive AI adoption and ensure it is implemented responsibly across various sectors.
  • National Security: An additional $2.6 million is designated to address and mitigate national security risks associated with AI technologies.
  • Public Service Capability: $2.2 million is set aside for the Prime Minister & Cabinet in 2024–25 to enhance AI integration and improve data quality for policy analysis within the Australian Public Service.

Industry experts highlighted the transformative potential of generative AI, emphasizing its rapid adoption and its likely impact across industries in both the short and long term.

Tech Skills Training

Addressing the tech skills gap is another critical focus of the budget. The Federal Government has allocated $10.6 million towards:

  • Australian Skills Guarantee: Implementing a reporting solution to support this initiative.
  • Trades Recognition Australia: Developing a modern ICT solution to assess the skills of migrants, aiding in the recognition of their qualifications.

There is a growing consensus on the importance of wide spread digital skills training, particularly in areas such as "prompt engineering," to ensure that Australians can fully leverage advanced AI tools. It is essential for the government to proactively partner with private industry to deliver this training and address the skills gap effectively.

Cybersecurity Investments

Cybersecurity continues to be a high priority, with significant investments aimed at enhancing the security of digital infrastructure:

  • NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission: Upgrading IT systems and improving cybersecurity.
  • Government Departments: Departments such as DFAT, APRA, ASIC, and DPS have received over $400 million over four years to bolster data capability and     cybersecurity measures.

Tech Industry authorities stressed the importance of a robust cybersecurity framework to boost consumer trust and stimulate digital engagement and innovation.

Driving Tech Innovation

While the budget's increased allocation for technology is seen as a positive step, experts argue that more should be done to foster tech business innovation. Instead of the government attempting to "pick technology winners", they should be focusing on providing incentives that make it easier for all investors and businesses. Proposals include tax offsets for technology investments and incentives for early-stage technology investors.


The 2024 Federal Budget marks a significant commitment to advancing AI and technology in Australia. With substantial funding allocated for AI adoption, tech skills training, and cybersecurity, the budget aims to position Australia at the forefront of technological innovation and safety.However, experts advocate for broader, incentive-based support to drive sustained tech business innovation and close the skills gap, ensuring Australia remains competitive on the global stage.

Georgie McLennan

Head of People & Experience