Support for SMEs and start-ups

An Industry Growth Program will support SMEs and start-ups to commercialise their ideas and grow their operations (businesses operating in the National Reconstruction Fund are a priority). The program has $392.4 million over 4 years.

An additional $39.6m over 4 years will support the Single Business Service to help SMEs engage with Government.

Cybersecurity funding

A small business wardens program through the Council of Small Business Organisations Australia (COSBOA) will support small businesses to build in-house capability to protect against cyber threats. $23.4 million has been provided over 3 years from 2023-24.

Disruptive defence technology funding

$3.4bn over 10 years has been provided to the Department of Defence to establish the ‘Advanced Strategic Capabilities Accelerator.’ Working with Australian industry, the accelerator seeks to “to lift capacity to translate disruptive new technologies into Defence capability rapidly.”

Direct pathway for kiwis to become Australian citizens

The Government will provide a direct pathway to Australian citizenship for New Zealand citizens in Australia from 1 July 2023, by allowing those who hold a non-protected Special Category visa (subclass 444), and meet general residence and other eligibility requirements, to apply directly for citizenship without becoming permanent residents first.

Reintroduction of work hour cap on international student visa holders


1 July 2023

During the pandemic, the cap on the number of hours an international student visa holder could work was removed.

From 1 July 2023 a work cap of 48 hours per fortnight will be reinstated. International students working in the aged care sector will be exempt from the cap until 21 December 2023.

International student post-study work rights extended


1 July 2023

In a move designed to strengthen the pipeline of skilled labour, from 1 July 2023, the Government will grant an extra two years of post-study work rights to international higher education graduates of Australian institutions with eligible qualifications.

Increase in wage expectations for temporary skilled workers
From 1 July 2023

Employers who wish to nominate workers for subclass 482, 186 and 187 visas must meet certain salary and employment condition requirements. This includes ensuring that the overseas worker is paid no less than an Australia worker doing the same job, and the visa programs does not undercut the Australian labour market. If a worker will be paid less than $250,000, the employer needs to prove that the overseas worker will be paid at least the Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold (TSMIT).

From 1 July 2023, TSMIT will increase from the current rate of $53,900 to $70,000.  

Visa application charges increase


1 July 2023

 From 1 July 2023, Visa application charges will increase by:

  • 6% for visa applications
  • 15% for select visitor and temporary isa subclasses
  • 40% for business innovation and investment visas

The Pacific Engagement Visa and Pacific Australia Labour Mobility schemes are exempt from the increase.

$1bn to boost biosecurity

The Government has committed $1bn over 4 years to strengthen Australia’s biosecurity system. The spending is focussed on biosecurity policy and implementation including preparedness, digital systems in cargo pathways, and the reduction of biosecurity risks in Northern Australia.

The initiative is partially offset by increasing costs for the clearance of low value imported cargo and a biosecurity protection levy on Australian producers of agricultural, forestry and fishery products from 1 July 2024.