There has been mostly positive response to the federal government’s plan for industry outlined by the Prime Minister, Scott Morrison yesterday, however there is some confusion over the spending amount.
Crikey.com pointed to the very modest additional funding being offered the sector – $1.4 billion over 10 years, or a modest $140 million a year.
Journalist Bernard Keane argued: “Packaging it up as a “10 year plan” enables Morrison to slap a billion-plus price tag on it.”
It is believed the figure is $1.5 billion over four years.
However that package, to be detailed further in the budget on Tuesday, hit the right notes for a cross-section of the manufacturing community:
- The Australian Food and Grocery Council (AFGC) welcomed the Prime Minister’s announcement that confirms the importance of growing a strong, resilient and competitive food and beverage manufacturing sector in Australia.
- The Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering (ATSE) welcomed investment in digitising and automation to accelerate evolution in manufacturing, secure Australia’s sovereign capability, and enhance capacity to respond quickly as new needs emerge. ATSE is looking for more detail in next Tuesday’s Budget concerning R&D incentives and investment.
- BAE Systems welcomed the long term commitment to support industrialisation reform and the inclusion of Defence as a key pillar in a new strategy to underpin the nation’s future manufacturing resilience. BAE Systems Australia Chief Executive Gabby Costigan said: “The Defence industry has enormous potential as a catalyst for economic growth, providing long-term opportunities for industry, highly skilled jobs and potential exports.”
Ai Group Chief Executive Innes Willox:“It is gratifying that the Federal Government has clearly recognised the role of manufacturing in the economy and committed to creating the right conditions for industry growth through policy areas such as taxation, skills and training development, energy, innovation and deregulation.”
- Resources sector industry growth sector METS Ignited welcomed the plan’s focus on commercialising the technology and innovation developed in the resources sector to benefit high priority industry sectors. METS Ignited CEO Adrian Beer said: “There is an immediate opportunity to better leverage…technology experience that we already have in this country. The innovation developed by Australia’s METS sector has a proven history, that has matured over the last 30 years. This provides a pipeline of products and services that could be developed in Australia within a high value manufacturing sector.”
- Food manufacturer SPC welcomed plans to sustain local manufacturing as part of its budget plan. SPC CEO, Robert Giles said: “This is welcome news, not only for SPC but our entire industry…We are confident that measures like this will ensure Australian manufacturing will become an enticing investment for the private sector to help turn companies like SPC into global businesses. We need big ideas like this if we want to see real change in our country.”
- The Australian Manufacturing Workers Union called the plan ‘a step in the right direction’ but called for worker representation to be included when developing the government’s planned roadmaps for industry sectors, heeding Scott Morrison’s call for the nation to pull in the same direction. AMWU national secretary Steve Murphy said: “The government has committed $18 billion to support the gas industry. We are calling on them to redirect that money to support Australian manufacturing.”
- Epicor Software ANZ vice-president Greg O’Loan: “The opportunity for Australia to once again be a strong participant in global manufacturing depends upon the government and industry working together to enhance our position in smart manufacturing.”
Medical Technology Association of Australia CEO Ian Burgess: “More than half of Australian medical device companies have grown from local start-ups, so today’s announcement will make an important impact where it is needed most, shoring up Australia’s MedTech innovators now and into the future.”
- The Australian Made Campaign was also positive about the announcement. CEO Ben Lazzaro said that new funding of $1.5 billion was “a significant step forward to strengthening Australia’s local manufacturing capabilities, creating jobs and ultimately shifting the country’s overreliance on imported products… It’s anticipated that such a significant investment will yield benefits beyond just the six priority sectors, as there is great potential for the initiative to create positive impacts throughout entire manufacturing supply chains.”
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