Federal Budget 2021-22: What’s in Store for Pandemic-Hit Sectors?

Summary

  • The government has unveiled targeted support for sectors hard-hit by the coronavirus pandemic in its latest budget.
  • The latest budget delivers AUD 1.2 billion in support for the tourism and aviation sectors and AUD 300 million for the creative and entertainment sector.
  • The government has also announced additional support for people wanting to access higher education and for more places.

The Australian government’s big-spending Federal Budget 2021-22 is finally out! The budget is primarily focused on creating jobs and bolstering economic growth after COVID-19. At the same time, the recently announced budget aims to build Australia’s economic resilience to cope with future shocks.

To manage the ongoing uncertainty and secure the nation’s economic recovery, the government has unveiled targeted support for sectors hard-hit by the coronavirus pandemic in its latest budget. The aim is to help these sectors rebound to their pre-pandemic state.

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Tourism and Aviation

The government has unveiled AUD 1.2 billion package to support aviation and tourism sectors to safeguard jobs, keep planes in the air, and encourage Aussies to explore their own backyard.

The package includes AUD 274.6 million in support for tour operators, zoos, aquariums, business events and travel agents. This funding is expected to support businesses remain viable and become ready to welcome tourists as domestic travel activity rises and overseas travel restrictions are eased.

The government has also extended the successful Regional Airline Network Support and Domestic Aviation Network Support Programs until 30 September 2021 to help the aviation sector. The objective is to maintain an international airline capability and foster the sector’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

A new AUD 200 million International Aviation Support payment has also been announced to preserve an Australian overseas airline workforce & operational capability. It is anticipated to protect up to 8,000 jobs and allow international flights to resume as soon as borders re-open.

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Creative and Entertainment

The recently announced budget also delivers about AUD 300 million support for the creative and entertainment sector, which was one of the first sectors to bear the brunt of the COVID-19 pandemic. The government’s support is targeted to help activate and assist the successful re-opening of the creative and cultural sector.

An additional AUD 125 million has been allocated for Restart Investment to Sustain and Expand Fund grants, which will provide essential seed funding for novel productions, events and festivals,  supporting about 230 projects. Furthermore, the AUD 50 million Temporary Interruption Fund has been extended for an additional six months to offer certainty for productions to commence filming and secure financing.

Related Read: Federal Budget: Healthcare takes priority amid COVID-19

Education

As part of the 2020-21 Federal Budget, the government provided AUD 903.5 million in support for people wanting to access higher education and for more places.

The government has now decided to invest AUD 26.1 million to provide an extra 5,000 Commonwealth supported short course places this year. The goal is to continue supporting non-university higher education providers in order to entice more domestic students. These additional places are expected to provide opportunities for students as well as ‘job seekers seeking to reskill’ to bolster their employment prospects.

Furthermore, the government is extending regulatory fee relief for overseas education providers until 31 December 2021 and has provided a total of 50,000 extra higher education short courses.

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