The 2017 Australian Budget has been launched at a time of social and economic uncertainty. The
Australian economy is presently characterised by a modest growth rate of 2.4%, falling business and
consumer confidence, subdued wages growth, a cooling housing market, and gross debt of $490 billion
(as reported by the Australian Office of Financial Management). Moreover, the latest Grattan Institute
research argues that Australia’s low investment environment risks “economic stagnation” as reflected in
a five-year fall in mining investment. However, there are also signs that the Budget deficit is stabilising
and nominal GDP evaluated at current market prices grew by 3% due to last year’s surprise mini-boom
in commodity prices.