House debates

Monday, 7 December 2020

Questions without Notice

Manufacturing Industry

2:12 pm

Photo of Ms Catherine KingMs Catherine King (Ballarat, Australian Labor Party, Shadow Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development) Share this | | Hansard source

My question is to the Minister for . It's nearly two months since Labor announced its rail manufacturing plan to boost Australia's manufacturing industry and to create local jobs. After bullying car manufacturers out of the country, why doesn't this government have any plans to build trains in Australia?

Photo of Karen AndrewsKaren Andrews (McPherson, Liberal Party, Minister for Industry) Share this | | Hansard source

I thank the member opposite for her question. One of the things we made very clear when we announced our Modern Manufacturing Strategy was that it was very important that we put in place the right economic conditions so that every industry and all businesses around Australia could be supported. And that's exactly what we have set about doing a number of times. When we announced that strategy we made it very clear that it built on the work that was already being done by the Minister for Industrial Relations, by the minister for energy, by our work in deregulation. All of these set a very strong economic foundation that we actually needed. Industries such as train building can succeed because we as a government have built that very strong economic base.

We also made it very clear that manufacturing was a national priority for this government, and we have been prepared to put our money where our mouth is. That's why we announced a $1.5 billion Modern Manufacturing Strategy, and we are in the process of rolling that out now. In fact, on Friday, in the member for Groom's electorate, I announced that the second round of the Manufacturing Modernisation Fund was now open. So those industries in the key national priorities that we announced can now start applying for grant funding in the order of about $100,000 to $1 million. We announced this strategy in October, and by the start of December we were already starting to roll it out so we could support manufacturing businesses right across Australia.

That's what this government is about, because it understands just how important manufacturing is. That's why our strategy focuses on how we're going to build collaboration not just between industry and researchers but also between like-minded manufacturers working in key priorities areas and bring behind them the supply chains that they need and that we as a nation need so that we can build competition, resilience and scale. They are the foundations on which we are building manufacturing. As I said at the beginning, we are making sure that we have put in place exactly the right economic conditions that are needed so industry right across Australia, in a wide range of sectors, is able to thrive in this country.