Manufacturing News

Albanese flags government intervention to back industry

Manufacturing News

By Peter Roberts

The federal government has flagged greater government intervention to nurture industry with a proposed enabling Future Made in Australia Act to set the scene for a more activist industry policy future.

According to a speech to be delivered today to Queensland Press Club and leaked to media outlets, the Act is a response to the US’s interventionist Inflation Reduction Act and similar industry-boosting policies in other natuons.

Albanese will say, according to reports: “This is not old-fashioned protectionism or isolationism, it is the new competition
“These nations are not withdrawing from global trade or walking away from world markets or the rules-based order – and let me be clear, nor should Australia.”

Australia will continue to support global markets but is responding to a new reality of world trade and economic competition.

“We must recognise there is a new and widespread willingness to make economic interventions on the basis of national interest and national sovereignty.”

Albanese move is a response also to widespread calls for a more interventionist industry policy approach, including from @AuManufacturing news.
Labor has been wary of intervention as it has previously been opposed against them including by the government’s own Productivity Commission as ‘picking winners’.

However with the loss of basic industries such as automotive manufacturing, and massive direct subsidies drawing global investment to the US and others, the time is passing for action.

Today Albanese will say: “We cannot afford another decade where government is a drag on business investment and productivity instead of a driver of it.”

In Fact Canberra has already begun to take action – earlier this month Albanese announced a $1 billion Solar SunShot scheme in association with the NSW government to support the development of solar panel manufacturing in Australia.

There is a focus in the Prime Minister’s remarks on government support to speed up the energy transition, provide certainty for business and stem the flow of money and ideas to countries offering investment incentives.

“We need to be clear-eyed about the economic realities of this decade, recognising that the game has changed and the role of government needs to evolve,” Albanese says in an advance copy of the speech, seen by Guardian Australia.

“Government needs to be more strategic, more sophisticated and a more constructive contributor. We need sharper elbows when it comes to marking out our national interest.”

Further reading:
Albanese offers policies, but they don’t add up to an industry policy
Economists say ‘yes’ to industry policy (just not in Australia)
Albanese announces $1bn for solar panel manufacturing

Picture: Anthony Albanese

Share this Story
Manufacturing News

Stay Informed

Go to Top