From NBN to Quantum, Here Are All the Tech Investments in the 2024 Federal Budget

From NBN to Quantum, Here Are All the Tech Investments in the 2024 Federal Budget

It’s the most fiscal time of the year, the 2024 Federal Budget has arrived and there are a whole heap of announcements surrounding technology. 

I spent my afternoon and part of my evening locked up with my fellow comrades/journalists to get a look at the budget papers before the rest of the world. And there is heaps of technology news. 

Just a heads up, the term you’re most likely going to hear on repeat is ‘Future Made’ as this is the ‘Future Made’ budget. 

The federal government has revealed a $22.7 billion investment over the next 10 years in innovation, digital, science and renewable energies, calling it a ‘future made in Australia’. 

Treasurer Jim Chalmers told parliament this investment package will make Australia an “indispensable” part of the economy. 

He said this growth agenda is about “attracting investment in key industries and making our country a renewable energy superpower”. Basically, the Australian government doesn’t want the country to fall behind economically and innovation-wise, makes sense. 

In terms of telcos and tech, minister for communications Michelle Rowland, noted a $1.3 billion investment within the NBN, a further effort to reduce scams, a new motion to reduce harms from gambling-like computer games and progress with First Nations digital inclusion. 

All of this and more has been explained below. To make this easy to digest, we’ve popped everything you need to know about the tech investments in this year’s 2024-25 federal budget. 


The only major announcement to do with electric vehicles (EVs) was around renewables and the new vehicle efficiency standard. 

We’ve covered the new vehicle efficiency standard but to summarise it will help Aussies save approximately $95 billion at fuel stations by 2050 and reduce transport emissions. 


The federal government is continuing its fibre upgrades to the NBN. According to the federal government, $1.2 billion in 2024-25 from the government’s broader $2.4 billion equity investment will be released to support NBN Co’s ongoing fibre upgrade program. 

The upgrades will ensure that 10 million premises on the fixed line network can access gigabit speeds by the end of 2025.


The federal government has unveiled a $466.4 million partnership to build the world’s first commercial-scale quantum computer in Brisbane. 

The government is partnering with PsiQuantum and the Queensland government to develop Australia’s quantum computing capabilities. 

PsiQuantum will build the world’s first commercial-scale quantum computer in Brisbane, become the anchor tenant in a growing quantum precinct in Brisbane and deliver PhD positions and research collaborations.

Last year, the federal government announced a $101.2 million investment to support businesses in integrating quantum and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies into their operations.

Image: Federal Budget 2024-25/Athina Mallis

Clean energy and batteries

Renewables and clean energy technology were a major part of the federal government’s ‘future made’ announcement. 

The federal government has pledged $1.4 billion over 11 years from 2023–24 to support manufacturing of clean energy technologies such as solar and batteries. 

The Australian government will invest more than $500 million to establish the Battery Breakthrough Initiative to grow Australia’s battery manufacturing capabilities. 

This investment aims for Aussies to get more value from our natural resources, diversify global battery supply chains and support the global transition to net zero. 

It also will invest, $835.6 million over ten years from 2024–25 for the Solar Sunshot program, created by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency to promote the development of solar manufacturing capabilities, and improve the industry’s supply chain resilience through production incentives and other forms of support. 

There will also be a $20.3 million investment over five years from 2023–24 for the Powering Australia Industry Growth Centre and the Future Battery Industries Cooperative Research Centre to enhance industry and research collaboration, including workforce training for

battery research, manufacturing, transport and recycling

Also, the Australian Made Battery Manufacturing Precinct will get $5.6 million in 2024–25 to drive battery manufacturing in Australia. 

First Nations digital inclusion 

The Albanese Government is narrowing the digital gap by supporting more First Nations communities to enjoy the transformational benefits of connectivity.

For this financial year, $48 million will deliver additional free community Wi-Fi in remote First Nations communities, establish a First Nations Digital Support Hub and a network of digital mentors to develop digital capability and support safe use, and improve the national collection of data on First Nations digital inclusion.

This funding extends the government’s investment of up to $20 million announced in February 2024 to provide free community Wi-Fi services to around 20 First Nations communities, and responds to recommendations from the First Nations Digital Inclusion Advisory Group established in January 2023.

AI Investment 

What is a 2024 budget without the mention of AI? The federal government will invest $39.9 million to progress Australia’s regulatory response to ensure safe and responsible development and deployment of AI and release a National Robotics Strategy to promote the responsible production and adoption of robotics and automation technologies in Australia.

The National AI Centre is getting a $21.6 million bump over the next four years. There will also be an AI advisory body within the Department of Industry, Science

and Resources. 

The government has also promised $15.7 million over the next two years to support industry analytical capability and coordination of AI policy development, regulation and engagement activities across government, including to review and strengthen existing regulations in the areas of health care, consumer and copyright law. 

And, there will be an additional $2.6 million investment over three years to respond to and mitigate against national security risks related to AI.

Internet and media 

Over the next five years, the federal government will invest $43.2 million to support the delivery of communications priorities, including responding to emerging and evolving online harms, boosting regional connectivity, digital inclusion and communications resilience. 

Also over the next five years, $22.6 million will be invested to support the modernisation of media regulation in Australia, including the implementation of a prominence framework for internet-connected television devices and an expanded anti-siphoning scheme. 

Digital payments 

The government will provide $7.5 million over four years from 2024–25 to modernise regulatory frameworks for financial services to improve competition and consumer protections for services enabled by new technology.

This includes exploratory work on central bank digital currencies, a new regulatory framework for payment service providers (including digital wallets and electronic stored value providers), including licensing and a mandated ePayments Code.


To bolster new mandatory industry rules on banks, telcos and digital platforms, ACMA will receive $12.4 million over four years from 2024-25 to oversee the review and improve existing scam call and SMS code for telcos, and boost enforcement action to prevent, detect, and disrupt scams.

The Albanese government said it is “protecting” Australians by introducing a comprehensive, multi-regulator approach to crack down on scams.

Gaming and gambling

The Albanese government is helping parents to make more informed choices about the computer games their children play, with new rules for games containing gambling-like features coming into effect from September 2024.

To counteract the increase of this type of content, the federal government is investing $1 million over two years from 2024-25 to fund education and awareness of the government’s new mandatory minimum classifications for gambling-like content in computer games.

The new classifications mean that from September, computer games containing in-game purchases linked to elements of chance – such as paid loot boxes – will receive a minimum classification of M (Mature – not recommended for children under 15 years of age), while games containing simulated gambling will receive a minimum classification of R 18+ (legally restricted to adults aged 18 or older).

The federal government wants to protect little Timmy online. Image: iStock

Protecting children online

The Albanese Government is taking important steps to improve protections for children online by committing funding to progress an age assurance trial.

The government will invest $6.5 million to test different technologies and age assurance approaches, including in relation to privacy and security requirements.

The outcomes will help inform the existing work of Australia’s eSafety Commissioner under the Online Safety Act – including through the development of industry codes or standards – to reduce children’s exposure to age-inappropriate material.

Digital ID

The government is steadfast in its digital ID expansion and will invest $288.1 million to support the further delivery and expansion of the country’s Digital ID System so “more Australians can realise the economic, security and privacy benefits of Digital ID”.

There is also an $11.0 million investment over four years to the Attorney-General’s Department to further enhance the existing Credential Protection Register to support individuals in managing their digital credentials and protect against identity crime. 

What is missing in the budget?

No real news on semi-conductors, EV rebates, space investment or telcos. There is always next year!

Image: iStock/Gizmodo Australia

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