MEDIA RELEASE 2022-23 BUDGET: Investing in a strong future, advancing our national interests and supporting regional prosperity

As part of our plan for a stronger future, the Morrison Government’s 2022-23 Budget will help build a more prosperous, stable and resilient region, shape our 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 our 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 we face in our strategic environment, the Government will provide an additional $460 million in ODA in 2022-23 for temporary and targeted measures.

Under our Pacific Step-Up, the Government will provide a further $324.4 million to partner with our 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 was delivering a record $1.85 billion in ODA to the Pacific this year.

“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 our partnerships. Together with our partners in the Pacific and Timor-Leste, we continue to prioritise quality, climate-resilient infrastructure that does not add to unsustainable debt burdens.

Underlining the continued importance of our 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 our Pacific family will help realise our 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. We will provide $245.5 million 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.

We are also growing our strategic, trade and investment ties in the Northeast Indian Ocean; particularly with Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and the Maldives.

Australia will continue to be a strong and reliable partner across our region, including through our investments in cooperation with our Southeast Asian neighbours and with ASEAN, as we chart a course out of the pandemic.

Together, we will advance our shared vision for an open, inclusive and prosperous Indo‑Pacific, and a more secure neighbourhood for all. 

[ENDS]

 

SENATOR THE HON MARISE PAYNE
Minister for Foreign Affairs
Minister for Women

SENATOR THE HON ZED SESELJA
Minister for International Development and the Pacific