6th October, 2020
Support for the manufacturing sector is set to feature in tonight’s Budget announcement, with the PM pitching a four-year “Modern Manufacturing” strategy as a key component of his Government’s economic recovery plan.
Ahead of what is being referred to as Australia’s most important budget release since World War II, the Federal Government has promised to inject close to $1.5 billion into Australia’s manufacturing industry – the majority of which will be used to upscale local manufacturing initiatives.
The funds, which are expected to be one of the highlights of tonight’s budget release, will be spread across multiple initiatives, all of which play a crucial role in an economic revival in the wake of COVID-19.
ABC News reported that $1.3 billion of funding allocated to this strategy will be used for assisting businesses with the commercialisation of novel concepts, ultimately merging the finished products into global supply chains.
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Businesses will be required to co-invest with the Government in order to receive the funds and will need to be working in one of the six industries that the Government has identified as priority areas, including resources technology and critical minerals, food and beverages, medical products, recycling and clean energy, defence, and space.
As part of the strategy, an additional $52 million will be injected into the Government’s Manufacturing Modernisation Fund, a program offering co-funded grants of up to $1 million for eligible businesses to upgrade their manufacturing processes and grow highly skilled workforces.
“The objective is to build scale and capture income in high-value areas of manufacturing where Australia either has established competitive strength or emerging priorities,” said Scott Morrison during a speech in Parliament last week.
$107 million is also expected to be allocated to bolstering essential goods supply chains, including medicines and other health products.
Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Karen Andrews shared that Australia “means business” with its proposed strategy, citing widespread industry support for the initiative.
“We’re putting our manufacturers in the driver’s seat to create jobs and make our nation more secure, and I’m buoyed by the support we have already received to make this happen,” Andrews said in a media release.
In a statement from the Australian peak industry association AI Group, chief executive Innes Willox offered his resounding support of the Government’s commitment to manufacturing.