The 2014-15 Budget will enhance Australia’s capacity to promote and protect our national interest and grow our international relationships.
The Budget is part of the Government’s Economic Action Strategy to build a strong, prosperous economy and a safe, secure Australia.
Strengthening Australia’s relationships
The 2014-15 Budget will deliver on the Australian Government’s commitment to strengthen our relationships with key partners and refocus foreign policy on the advancement of Australia’s core strategic and economic interests.
The Government is delivering an aid program that the country can responsibly afford. We are repairing the Budget. The previous Government delivered five record Government deficits, they also left a further $123 billion in deficits for the next four years and debt projected to reach $667 billion.
The 2014-15 Budget will support a sustainable, affordable and accountable aid program that invests $5 billion each year to promote prosperity, reduce poverty and enhance stability in our region, the Indo–Pacific. It will be stabilised at $5 billion in 2015-16, thereafter increasing annually by CPI.
Australia’s aid budget will be spent where we can make the most difference.
We will invest in the drivers of economic growth, including trade, infrastructure, education, health and empowering women and girls, to create new jobs and opportunities that lift people out of poverty.
The aid program will be guided by a new aid policy and performance framework to better promote Australia’s national interests by contributing to economic growth and poverty reduction.
The Abbott Government will co-locate Australia’s Embassy in Baghdad with the British Embassy. The Budget delivers $35.6 million to continue to promote Australia’s national interests in Iraq.
Australia, in close coordination with our International Security Assistance Force partners, is firm in its support for Afghanistan. The 2014-15 Budget will allocate $51.5 million to continue our work towards preventing Afghanistan from again becoming a safe haven for terrorists.
The Abbott Government is investing $6.4 million over two years to provide critical support towards the Government’s counter people smuggling operations. This funding will enable DFAT to continue to engage our partners in the region on a coordinated response to people smuggling.
The Government will terminate the Australia Network contract with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation in 2014, which was the result of a fundamentally flawed tender process under the previous Labor government.
The Australia Network has failed to deliver a cost-effective vehicle for advancing Australia’s broad and enduring interests in the Indo-Pacific region.
This decision will deliver $76.8 million over four years to repair the Budget with additional savings over the lifetime of the contract beyond the forward estimates.
Growing our trading relationships
The Abbott Government is delivering our Economic Action Strategy to generate jobs, grow our exports and build a stronger, more prosperous economy.
The Government has already delivered on our commitments to finalise free trade agreements with Korea and Japan. These agreements will generate jobs, enable small and medium size businesses to grow and will boost our exports.
The Abbott Government is honouring its election commitments to make Australia’s tourism sector a source of economic strength and international competiveness.
The 2014-15 Budget delivers a new $43.1 million Tourism Demand-Driver Infrastructure Programme to boost Australian tourism.
As the states and territories are best-placed to decide their tourism infrastructure priorities, funds from the Tourism Demand-Driver Infrastructure Programme will be provided to individual jurisdictions.
The Abbott Government will also allocate up to $600,000 to transition responsibility for the T-QUAL Accreditation programme from government to industry.
Industry, not government, is the best judge of quality, and this funding delivers on a Coalition commitment to transfer the programme to industry following a tender process.
The 2014-15 Budget delivers $10.1 million for the Australia-China Approved Destination Status scheme to ensure that the experience of Chinese tourists in Australia continues to improve.
The Abbott Government will deliver $2 million in funding for Australia Week in China (AWIC) to hold the event again in 2016. The decision follows the success of AWIC 2014, which was Australia’s biggest ever offshore trade, investment, education and tourism promotion event, involving 720 individuals from more than 500 companies and organisations.
The Abbott Government will deliver $200 million in cash capital to the Export Finance and Insurance Corporation to support small and medium size businesses to successfully grow their exports. This will reverse the previous Government’s decision announced in the 2012-13 Budget.
The Government is making decisions that repair the Budget, strengthen the economy and prepare Australia for the long term challenges before us.