Federal Budget 2024: 5 sectors to watch if you’re an entrepreneur

Investing

The Australian government released its budget for the 2024-25 financial year, with investment indicating where the nation is placing its focus looking ahead.
C=Australia’s Prime Minister Anthony Albanese speaks during Question Time at Parliament House on May 14, 2024 in Canberra, Australia. (Photo by Tracey Nearmy/Getty Images)

The Federal Budget, announced on Tuesday night, had some big winners – like low-and-middle-income earnings – and some potential losers, like international students, consultants and contractors. But taking a step back, the Government’s investment into certain sectors may indicate where its focus lies for the future – and, where budding entrepreneurs may want to focus their efforts.

Healthcare

The federal government has committed $8.5 billion in funding towards the healthcare sector, which includes $1.4 billion over 13 years to invest in life-saving medical research in Australia through an updated Medical Research Future Fund 10-year investment plan.

The government’s also committed $49 million towards endometriosis support, and $227 million for 29 new urgent care clinics to help reduce the load on hospital emergency departments.

Renewables

Renewables and clean energy sources were a major focus in this year’s budget, with $3.2 billion set to be spent over the next decade under the government’s Future Made in Australia program.

A further $8 billion has been committed to support renewable hydrogen production, and another $100 million will be spent over the next four years to speed-up approval processes for renewable projects.

Solar manufacturing also got a boost, with $835.6 million committed over ten years from 2024–25 (and $66.8 million per year from 2034–35 to 2036–37) to establish the Solar Sunshot program administered by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency.

The government also committed $27.7 million over four years from this year to implement consumer energy resource reforms that will help customers save on bills by boosting the supply of renewable electricity to the grid from rooftop solar and home batteries.

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Critical minerals

About $20 billion has been committed over the next decade to accelerate investment in Future Made in Australia priority industries, about $7.1 billion of that (across 11 years) will go towards supporting refining and processing critical minerals.

Within that, a critical minerals product tax incentive is set to come in from 2027-28 to 2040-41, to support downstream refining and processing of Australia’s 31 critical minerals, to improve supply chain resilience.

$10.2 million will be spent this year on pre-feasibility studies for critical mineral common-user processing facilities – in partnership with state and territory governments – to enhance Australia’s capacity to process critical minerals.

Quantum computing

Nearly $1 billion has been committed to bring the quantum computer into fruition in Brisbane. That’s a combined effort between the federal and Queensland government, each committing $470 million to tech startup PsiQuantum.

The startup says it’s on an aggressive plan to have the site operational by the end of 2027.

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Defence

The federal government is set to increase the government’s defence spending by $5.7 billion – the largest increase over a forward estimates period in decades. It also plans to spend a further $50.3 billion over the next decade.

That should see defence funding as a proportion of Gross Domestic Product reach mre than 2.3% by 2033-34.

The government’s Aukus nuclear-powered submarine project is set to receive $2.59 billion over the next financial year. It has also committed $102 million over seven years for workforce initiatives, including 3,000 scholarships for students studying undergraduate Stem courses relevant to the nuclear-powered submarine plan.

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