Incoming industry minister Ed Husic has confirmed that the planned $15 billion National Reconstruction Fund would be able to provide capital to manufacturers to help make their projects more commercially viable.
Interviewed by Laura Tingle on ABC 7.30, Husic said the NRF would have a similar architecture to the Clean Energy Financing Corporation which he said had spurred renewable energy development.
Husic said: “So with the NRF, looking at being able to provide capital, particularly at a time where it’s going to be harder to get that and to be able to have that available for industry as they’re trying to get ahead, be it in a whole range of areas, resources, agriculture, transport.”
Asked whether industry ministers could ‘really change things’ he said action on government procurement, on ‘opening up government contracts to help in part strengthen industry outcomes’, was really important.
He also wanted to send a signal to industry that government wants to be there in partnership to rebuild capability in terms of export opportunity, but but also to meet domestic needs.
“We often reflected on, for example, the fact that Australia’s manufacturing capacity, self-sufficiency, is probably the lowest in the OECD.
“That has an impact right now. If you look at supply chain issues, labour shortages, the combining of that, what it does to inflation, there is a priority for us to get this sorted out as quickly as we can.
“It’s a big challenge and that’s why we’ve dedicated so much thought and resources to this.”
Picture: ABC 7.30/Ed Husic
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