Victorian opposition leader: assistance needed to seize “rare opportunity to bring manufacturing back”

Victorian opposition leader Michael O’Brien has proposed that the state regrow its manufacturing sector through a new $1 billion fund.

O’Brien said Victoria had lost 50,000 jobs in the industry over the last two decades, and that the Covid-19 pandemic had exposed the weakness of its supply chains.
“This is a rare opportunity to bring manufacturing back, a big investment in innovation as well as research and development can really help to grow Victoria’s economy and get people back into work,” the ABC reports the state’s Liberal leader as saying.

“Pharmaceuticals and biomedical technology are areas where we see Victorian scientists and researches coming up with brilliant ideas only to see them sent over to America and other countries to be commercialised.

“Where you’ve got Australian companies that have sourced manufacturing overseas, I think it would be great to provide incentives for them to relocate back to Victoria.”
Melbourne hospitals have suffered a shortage of protective equipment during the outbreak, reported by The Age last month.
Victoria is home to the country’s only medical mask maker, Med-Con, which recently boosted its capacity from 2.6 million masks annually to 50 million with the help of Australian Defence Force engineers.
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