Australia to become global manufacturing powerhouse with PM’s $1.5bn scheme

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The Morrison Government is launching a new era of Australian manufacturing, as part of our JobMaker Plan to rebuild the economy, create jobs and recover from the COVID-19 recession.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said around $1.5 billion in new funding will be invested over the next four years in the Modern Manufacturing Strategy to make Australian manufacturers more competitive, resilient and able to scale-up to take on the world.

“We make things in Australia. We do it well. We need to keep making things in Australia. And with this strategy, we will,” Prime Minister Morrison said.

“The COVID crisis opens a new chapter for Australian manufacturing as a revitalised source of high-wage jobs, valuable exports and national income.

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“Our Modern Manufacturing Strategy is at the heart of our JobMaker plan. It starts with creating a stable and competitive business environment to grow our all parts of our manufacturing sector, but it does not end there.

“It will play to Australia’s strengths, improve collaboration and commercialisation, and create a sector that is modern, dynamic and highly skilled.

“Through this Strategy, we are determined to ensure government, industry and the research and education sectors are all working in the one direction to build scale in our manufacturing sector.

“Manufacturing is critical to Australia’s economic future, to the prosperity of our regions and to the capabilities that underpin the success of so many other industries.”

Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Karen Andrews said this strategy reflects the lessons learned during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as extensive work with industry before that.

“Our manufacturers have risen to the challenge to deliver during COVID-19 and now, we’re unlocking their potential to deliver for our future,” Minister Andrews said.

“By playing to our strengths, strategically investing and boosting the role of science and technology in industry, we can open up new markets and take more of our quality products to the world.

“This Strategy sends a clear signal that not only is Australia open for business, but we mean business.”

The centrepiece of the Strategy is the $1.3 billion Modern Manufacturing Initiative (MMI), which will see the Government strategically invest in projects that help manufacturers to scale up and create jobs.

The MMI will support projects within six National Manufacturing Priorities which reflect Australia’s established competitive advantages or emerging areas of priority:

  • Resources technology and critical minerals processing
  • Food and beverage
  • Medical products
  • Recycling and clean energy
  • Defence
  • Space

“This is about Australia playing to its strengths and the Government strategically investing in areas of manufacturing where we know we have an edge and that can deliver the jobs we need,” Minister Andrews said.

Industry will be engaged to co-design tailored road maps for each of the priority sectors to set clear goals over the next two, five and 10 years, and identify the barriers and opportunities that will guide action and investment.

The Strategy will also address the competitiveness of individual manufacturers in our priority sectors, with a $52.8 million expansion of the Manufacturing Modernisation Fund.

The COVID-19 crisis has also highlighted the need to better understand and address our supply chain issues and opportunities. A $107.2 million Supply Chain Resilience Initiative will support projects that address an identified supply chain vulnerability.

“This is about incentivising industry to take advantage of opportunities to provide both domestic and global supply chains with critical products,” Minister Andrews said.

Innovation and Science Australia will be repurposed as Industry Innovation and Science Australia, to provide a long-term perspective on growing the manufacturing sector and strong industry advice to Government throughout the implementation of the Strategy.

The Government is also comprehensively reviewing existing industry programs to better align them with the strategy. As part of this, we will provide an additional $50 million to the Industry Growth Centres initiative to support projects in the priority areas out until the end of June 2022.

This strategy builds on the work across Government to improve economic conditions for business, including streamlining regulation, cutting red tape and cutting input costs. A key part of that will be cutting energy costs as outlined in the Gas-fired recovery statement on 15 September 2020.

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