Canberra, 30 March: There were few surprises for the library and information services sector from the Australian Government Budget 2022-23. Investment in school and vocational education, regional and remote areas, and First Nations students is welcomed.
The following summarises the areas of interest.
Schools and early learning
Funding for both government and non-government schools rises slightly, with educational outcomes for students in regional and remote Australia and First Nations students a priority. $9.7 million goes to supporting student wellbeing and mental health, $2million ongoing for literacy support for Tasmanian students and funding for the preschools data framework continues.
Higher Education and VET
The Commonwealth and state and territory governments continue to work towards a new National Skills Agreement in the VET sector, with the Commonwealth government forecasting additional $3.7 billion in funding and 800,000 training places. Efforts to streamline the apprenticeships in priority areas would are unlikely to extend to LIS apprenticeships at this stage.
There is no cash injection for the strained higher education sector with funding expected to decrease by 5.4% as a result of the Job-ready Graduates higher education reform package. There is a $2.2 billion package to accelerate reform in the higher education sector for translation and commercialisation, including the Trailblazer Universities Program which will support select universities to boost prioritised research and development, foster stronger connections with the CSIRO and drive commercialisation.
There is additional funding for regional and remote students, with a focus on supporting First Nations students. Students accessing support payments will also be eligible for the one off $250 cost of living allowance.
TEQSA’s cost recovery model will be phased in over three years and will include reductions to course accreditation fees for providers with less than 5,000 enrolled students.
Arts and cultural heritage
Funding for the arts and cultural heritage is estimated to decrease by 10.6 per cent in real terms from 2021-22 to 2022-23 and decrease by 13.1 per cent in real terms from 2022-23 to 2025-26. The Australia Council’s budget increases slightly, though there are no specific measures noted for literature.
$20.0 million has been allocated to the Restart Investment to Sustain and Expand (RISE) Fund to 30 September 2022 to continue additional support as the arts sector recovers from COVID-19.
The National Library of Australia (NLA) will receive one-off funding to progress the upgrade and replacement of the end of life heating ventilation and air conditioning system. Funding for the National Archives of Australia also increases for 2022-23 reflecting the measures announced in MYEFO to sustain critical functions and preserve records. Funding for the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS) declines slightly.
Read the full Budget documents here.