One of the most difficult things to do is to develop a computer brain that operates like a human brain. Intelligence that evolved by nature is very complex. A computer "thinks" linearly with one activity followed by another. The human brain works outward from a central point, spreading out to different areas depending on the particular task.
To say that Australia should concentrate on making the world's first bionic brain is a leap too far. Saying that $250m over ten years will get the job done is way off the mark. There are many scientists already working with much more money than that and they haven't achieved much.
Pioneering the healthbionic ear and eye is kid stuff compared to replicating the brain. Using nerve activity to make artificial limbs move is also far from understanding human intelligence. Even after all these years measuring intelligence is beyond us. The IQ test only gives a score for rating cultural knowledge. It is misused by so many people.
We need to start at the real beginning and understand genetics first. Genes build the brain. Consciousness is another thing. Is it the outcome of the overall activity of the brain or is it something separate, like a soul? Saying humans are the only animal to have a soul is nonsense. When you get to Heaven expect to find some Neanderthal there!
Science by Ty Buchanan