I’ve heard about government grants for start-ups that help with the cost of tech, but does the tech need to be done in Australia or can it still be done overseas? I have a few quotes and the o/s supplier is much cheaper.
There are a few schemes both state and federal.
There is the MVP state grant which is the Minimal Viable Product. You get up to $25k to get a prototype going. Dev must be done in Australia. There is also the Federal R & D grant.
The R&D tax incentive is designed to reward certain companies for undertaking R&D in Australia. I would strongly encourage you to read AusIndustry's R&D and Software Development guidance from February 2019 and also the Guide to Common Errors https://www.business.gov.au/assistance/research-and-development-tax-incentive/guidance-and-information/sector-guidance/software-development as these explain what may be eligible and what is unlikely to meet the requirements.
You should seek an expert to give you specific advice to your situation as this is a very specialised tax area.