Australia announced 2022-23 Budget: Investing in a strong future, advancing national interests and supporting regional prosperity

By Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade - Australia

Australia announced 2022-23 Budget: Investing in a strong future, advancing national interests and supporting regional prosperity

The Morrison Government’s 2022-23 Budget will help build a more prosperous, stable, and resilient region, shape the strategic environment, and advance Australia’s national interests in the face of increasing global uncertainty.

Australia is a strong and reliable partner and will continue to support Indo-Pacific neighbours as they recover from the challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic, humanitarian crises, and natural disasters.

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Women Marise Payne said the 2022-23 Budget underscored Australia’s commitment to the rules-based global order and to providing vital humanitarian assistance.

“We are working with others to respond to global humanitarian crises including in Afghanistan and Myanmar or to natural disasters in the Pacific. To assist civilians affected by the conflict in Ukraine, this includes the $65 million support announced by the Government in 2021-22,” Minister Payne said.

“The Morrison Government stands in solidarity with the people of Ukraine and condemns Russia’s unprovoked and unjustified invasion, which is having a catastrophic humanitarian impact.”

As part of the 2022-23 Budget, the Government has resumed indexation for Australia’s ongoing baseline level of Official Development Assistance (ODA). Baseline ODA will increase to $4.089 billion, up from $4.0 billion in 2021-22.

Recognising the complex and overlapping challenges, the Government will provide an additional $460 million in ODA in 2022-23 for temporary and targeted measures.

Under the Pacific Step-Up, the Government will provide a further $324.4 million to partner with the Pacific family on the regional response to COVID-19. Of this $314 million will be a temporary and targeted ODA measure.

Minister Payne said the new funding would build on extensive COVID-19 response efforts over the past two years, to address the economic and social costs of COVID-19 in the Pacific and bolster Partnerships for Recovery by providing continued fiscal crisis support.

“As we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, Australia will support the reopening of international borders to allow for the resumption of tourism,” she said.

“This is a very important and crucial step towards our shared recovery across the region. Australia will work in partnership with our Pacific family by facilitating enhanced vaccination certification and testing capacity as well as providing further support to the aviation sector.”

Minister for International Development and the Pacific Zed Seselja said the Government will deliver a record $1.85 billion in ODA to the Pacific in 2022-23.

“Australia is the Pacific’s largest development partner, security partner of choice, and most importantly, we are family,” Minister Seselja said.

“Australia has bolstered our support to the Pacific in light of the ongoing challenges faced by the COVID-19 pandemic. We will continue to support the sovereignty and resilience of our region, and provide assistance that is locally led, and delivers tangible outcomes and benefits for the region.”

The Government has doubled the lending “headroom” for the Australian Infrastructure Financing Facility for the Pacific from $1.5 billion to $3 billion to respond to demand from the region and to demonstrate the strength of the partnerships. Together with its partners in the Pacific and Timor-Leste, the Government continues to prioritise quality, climate-resilient infrastructure that does not add to unsustainable debt burdens.

Underlining the continued importance of the Pacific Step-Up, the Government will also commit $65.2 million to construct and maintain a new High Commission chancery in Honiara in Solomon Islands.

These budget initiatives in support of the Pacific family will help realise the vision for an open, inclusive, and resilient Indo-Pacific.

The Morrison Government is committed to promoting regional and global prosperity, including by enhancing Australia’s economic and strategic ties with India. $245.5 million will be provided over five years from 2021-22 to invest in public sector linkages, community engagement, education, resources, connectivity, low emissions technology, business literacy, science, and technology cooperation with India.

Australia will continue to be a strong and reliable partner across the region, including through investments in cooperation with the Southeast Asian neighbours and with ASEAN.