2022-23 Commonwealth Budget Summary

01 Apr 2022


As part of our new Advocacy approach, the AVA has made a formal submission on the federal budget. This was the opening step in our wider campaign for veterinarians through the Federal Election and, ultimately, with the next Federal Government.

One of our key objectives is seeking support in addressing the mental health crisis and the workforce challenges faced by the veterinary profession. The Budget released by the Government this week made some broad commitments for mental health and small business support that may be of help to veterinarians and their practices – some of which are detailed below. However, the Government failed to make substantive commitments specific to the veterinary profession.

As budget week comes to a close, the AVA Veterinary and Public Affairs team are continuing to engage with decision makers. With an election due in under two months’ time, the AVA has been out meeting with politicians of all parties to explain our Federal Election Platform.

You can help get the word out by talking with your local MP and candidates. See the AVA's ‘get involved’ webpage for details.


Budget measures


Biosecurity and exotic animal disease

The Government is providing $69m over two years for a Japanese encephalitis Virus National Plan. The plan includes:

  • the purchase of 125,000 doses of the Imojev vaccine (SanofiAventis Australia) and 10,000 doses of the JEspect vaccine (Seqirus)
  • health surveillance and modelling
  • funding for state and territory agriculture departments to undertake surveillance and emergency response programs
  • a national communication campaign.

$61.6 million has been allocated over four years to improve biosecurity capabilities, infrastructure and risk management activities across Northern Australia, including addressing the potential threat of lumpy skin disease.

Other measures include $20.1 million over three years to strengthen farm biosecurity by supporting the adoption of livestock traceability reforms, and $20 million over four years to work with states and territories to reduce the impact of pests and weeds on agricultural production, native wildlife, the environment and the community.



The Government Restoration Fund of $100m over three years includes funding to support additional koala care places under the National Vet and Vet Nurses training program. It will also support the extension of the National Koala Monitoring Program, provide additional funding for research and implementation activities that address koala health challenges, and “onground actions that prioritise, restore and protect critical koala habitats, mitigate threats to koala populations, and improve koala health and care facilities.”


Mental Health

The Government will provide $547m over five years to provide mental health Stage 2 reforms through the five pillars of the National Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan – Prevention and Early Intervention, Suicide Prevention, Treatment, Supporting Vulnerable Australians and Workforce and Governance. This funding includes:

  •  $4.6 million over two years to support the New Access for Small Business Owners program delivered by Beyond Blue to continue to provide free, accessible, and tailored mental health support to small business owners
  • $900,000 to extend Medicare Benefits Schedule items for Australians impacted by the 2019-20 bushfires
  • $52.3 million over four years for Lifeline to provide mental health supports
  • $42.7 million over two years to extend targeted regional initiatives to prevent suicide across Australia through more coordinated, but locally specific, efforts at the regional level
  • $64.7 million over five years to implement the first stages of the 10year mental health workforce strategy 
  • $3.9 million over three years for innovative, evidence based mental health and suicide prevention research activities 
  • $11.3 million to continue providing COVID-19 support through digital mental health services.


From the Opposition

The Opposition Leader, Anthony Albanese, made clear that his Budget response was not designed to be a full alternate budget. He has stated that if elected his government would release their own budget later in 2022.  Given this, there were no specific items that could be spelt out.  However, there are some items of general interest. An Albanese Government would establish a Disaster Ready Fund to mitigate impact of natural disasters.

The Opposition’s plans for more university places and 465,000 fee free TAFE places are ones that the AVA would like to discuss should Labor be elected. These places could go some way to addressing the shortage of vets and vet nurses in much of Australia.


What’s next?

The AVA will continue to keep you updated during the election campaign with relevant announcements and our own list of policies we would like to see implemented and funded.

If you are a member who would like to volunteer to meet with your local candidates, please contact Senior Advocacy Officer Troy Reeves on troy.reeves@ava.com.au to discuss and to be provided with assistance and talking points.