Economy

Budget: New programs in community mental health and exercise target seniors

Budget: New programs in community mental health and exercise target seniors

These changes, which will come into effect on 1 July 2018, are estimated to have a gain to the budget of A$2.0 billion over the next four years.

The Federal Government have committed to a 10-year national infrastructure plan that seeks to reduce congestion, improve safety and create jobs. They made the budget for the agency public on May 8, 2018.

"It really is time for the Turnbull Government to reflect the economic and cultural contribution our industry makes to Australia with a broader vision and some long-term, strategic policy initiatives that support its future growth".

It also includes 10-year investments of $248 million for rare cancers and diseases and $125 million for the Million Minds Mental Health Research Mission to support more research and better diagnosis and treatment of mental illness.

The funding commitment was a vital recognition of the central role intermodal terminals will play in modernising urban supply chains, the Australian Logistics Council said yesterday.

Austrade, the government department that spruiks on behalf of local exporters, will enjoy a $3.2 million increase in funding, specifically for the rollout of a new national brand. The proposed leader of the new agency is Megan Clark.

Medical research has been given a boost with A$1.3 billion under the 21st Century Medical Industry Growth Plan for the progress of medical technology, biotechnology and pharmaceuticals while improving health outcomes for all Australians through investments in medical innovation.

$500 Million Genomic Health Futures Mission that will develop new "precision medicine" approaches to a wide range of diseases.

$248 million for research on rare cancers and diseases.

It is particularly dismal in the light of the decision to cutback on the R&D tax concession, which is the single biggest innovation incentive.

Investment in digital infrastructure to improve the accuracy of Global Positioning System and satellite imagery will promote the competitiveness of sectors like agriculture, mining, and marine industries.

Investment in supercomputing will continue with a A$140 million earmarked for the upgrading of two supercomputers at the Pawsey Supercomputing Centre in Perth and the National Computational Infrastructure facility at the Australian National University.

A welcome return to indexation of ARC Discovery and Linkage schemes after several years of flat funding, and stable funding for other major Australian research agencies including CSIRO, ANSTO, and Geoscience Australia.

Gender diversity in STEM gained support as well thanks to a four-year, $4.5 million investment in several programs to increase women's involvement in STEM disciplines.

The new budget provides $399 million to protect the Great Barrier Reef, an amount scientists call "a small step" toward what is needed. A large part of this funding will be delivered in partnership with the Great Barrier Reef Foundation, with a focus on improving water quality, funding research into coral restoration and adaptation and combating crown-of-thorn starfish.