Engineers call for solar and battery incentives

Engineers Australia CEO Dr Bronwyn Evans AM
Engineers Australia CEO Dr Bronwyn Evans AM

Australia’s engineering peak body Engineers Australia says the upcoming Federal Budget must avoid short-term political gain in favour of generational investment in big ideas and a long-term vision.

Building sovereign capability, beating climate change, and busting Australia’s skills shortage are the focus of Engineers Australia’s pre-budget submission for 2022-23. 

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“Uncertainty and upheaval have created a unique opportunity to invest in big ideas that can make a difference for all Australians,” Engineers Australia CEO Dr Bronwyn Evans AM said. 

“Engineers are on the frontlines of responding to COVID, developing solutions for business, government and the community. Our big ideas must be engineering-based, alongside developing technologies that create new industries, jobs and businesses, and help engineer a better future for all.”

The submission recommendations include:

Build sovereign capability:

  • Support tax incentives for Australian owned and operated manufacturers of battery and solar panels as well as those investing in these businesses. 
  • Fund research for new technologies and innovative production processes alongside financial incentives for educational institutions to develop the manufacturing workforce.
  • Streamline and centralise government grants for research and development. 
  • Create additional hubs centred around start-ups and the commercialisation of Australian innovation.
  • Implement a globally competitive tax regime for those investing in start-ups.

Beat climate change:

  • Publish a comprehensive national emissions reduction strategy, including a 2030 abatement target. 
  • Supercharge support for households and companies to purchase energy efficient products.
  • Mandate fleet average emissions standards for new vehicles.

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Bust the engineering skills shortage:

  • Incentivise commonwealth contractors to provide graduate programs and internships. 
  • Refine Australia’s migration program objectives to be more targeted, to attract migrants with the specific experience and skills required, increasing their employability. 
  • Increase teacher capability in STEM subjects and providing a better understanding of all STEM careers and learning.
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