Media Release: 2021 Budget and the Spatial Industries

Australia’s spatial industries have welcomed the government’s investment boost for the digital economy, national infrastructure, defence and national security announced in the Federal Budget.

The Spatial Industries Business Association (SIBA|GITA) says its members are core contributors to the nation’s infrastructure planning, implementation and maintenance and the stimulus packages provide a positive impact to the spatial industry.

SIBA|GITA Chair Alistair Byrom said the government had increased the 10-year infrastructure pipeline to $110 billion, supporting 100,000 jobs through projects currently under construction.

The association also welcomed the extension of the HomeBuilder and New Home Guarantee schemes which would continue to stimulate the housing market and land development.

Mr Byrom said “we welcome investment in the digital strategy, artificial intelligence and emerging technology as part of the $1.2billion announced for the digital economy and tax incentives to support businesses across our sector to continue to drive innovation including:

Data and Digital Economy

  • An Australian Data Strategy to create a data-driven economy through better data use
  • $111.3 million to support the acceleration of the Consumer Data Right rollout
  • $40.2 million to deliver the Digital Atlas of Australia
  • $16.5 million for a pilot program to make the Australian Government’s data assets discoverable and support whole-of-economy reuse

Digital Skills

  • $10.7 million for the Digital Skills Cadetship Trial to deliver work-based learning opportunities for in-demand digital jobs
  • $22.6 million over six years for Next Generation Emerging Technology Graduates Program that will provide more than 200 competitive national scholarships in emerging technologies

Artificial Intelligence

  • Investing $53.8 million over four years to create the National Artificial Intelligence Centre that will drive business adoption of AI technologies by coordinating Australia’s AI expertise and capabilities
  • Providing $33.7 million over four years to support Australian businesses to partner with government to pilot projects for AI-based solutions to national challenges
  • Providing $12 million over five years to catalyse the AI opportunity in our regions by co-funding up to 36 competitive grants to develop AI solutions that address local or regional problems

Industry, Science and Resources

  • $387.2 million to co-host the SKA Observatory
  • $13.3 million for the Australian Space Agency for regulatory and technical advisory capacity and the growth of industry

Investment Incentives

  • Allowing tax payers to self-assess the effective life of certain depreciating intangible assets. This change enables businesses to bring forward the depreciation in order to improve cash flow and invest in the next innovation

Emerging Aviation Technologies

  • The National Emerging Aviation Technology Policy Statement to set the framework for managing these new technologies
  • $32.6 million over two years for an Emerging Aviation Technology Partnerships program to support the use of emerging aviation technologies to address priority community, mobility and cargo needs across regional Australia
  • Scope for the development of the National Drone Detection Network

“Our members comprise small to large enterprises and operate across specialist fields such as surveying, spatial and geospatial technologies and data analysis, software development, business consultancy, remote sensing, drones (RPAS), space technologies to name a few.

“SIBA|GITA members are significant contributors to Australia’s emerging knowledge economy. Many reinvest profit back into research and development and are world-class innovators with considerable untapped potential for driving high value exports. We look forward to seeing greater opportunities emerge for our members over the coming years, he said.