House debates

Wednesday, 3 February 2021

Questions without Notice

Manufacturing: Employment

2:51 pm

Photo of Ed HusicEd Husic (Chifley, Australian Labor Party, Shadow Minister for Industry and Innovation) Share this | | Hansard source

My question is for the Prime Minister. Almost 90,000 jobs in manufacturing have been lost under this eight-year government. Prime Minister, why has the government failed to protect jobs in manufacturing in Australia?

Photo of Scott MorrisonScott Morrison (Cook, Liberal Party, Prime Minister) Share this | | Hansard source

The Minister for Industry, Science and Technology has championed the Modern Manufacturing Strategy that was outlined in the last budget—some $1½ billion of investments in the future of advanced manufacturing in this country. She will tell you that that is how you're going to create manufacturing jobs going forward in this country. But one of the things it will be absolutely conditional on is the platform that is established by lower taxes and more competitive arrangements for businesses—ensuring that their energy prices are lower and that their access to gas feedstock is at levels which enable them to achieve the sorts of things that were able to be achieved in the United States, with the way that gas became available in the United States. That's why our manufacturing policy is based on the platform of those broader based reforms. But, on top of that, it is about investing in the things that put people into those jobs. As the Treasurer reminds us, there is the national skills platform, which we are establishing with the states and territories, and the new skills agreement, which is giving people the forward look on the skills that Australians—and the businesses who employ them—will need. That is backed up by a $1 billion training fund, the JobTrainer Fund, together with the states and territories, and it's also backed up by the 30,000-odd additional places going to educational institutions this year. All of that is equipping our workforce to be the workforce that manufacturing needs to be successful in the future.

I saw this when I was up at the Global Manufacturing Group in Maryborough. A wholly Australian owned metal manufacturer, CMG employs approximately 100 people across its Maryborough and Gladstone operations. They utilised the instant asset write-off and a $785,150 grant under the sovereign industry capability program. And then there's Rheinmetall at Maryborough, a $60 million facility expected to employ up to an extra 100 people in full operation by 2022. The government supported that through a $28½ million grant through the Regional Growth Fund. There's Delta Hydraulics in Devonport. I visited there on 15 December. It's a family owned business, founded in 1975 by John White. It specialises in the development and export of hydraulic cylinders, and it has benefited significantly from JobKeeper. There's CSL at Broadmeadows. There's Outsource1 in Brisbane, a manufacturer of civil and traffic light signage. There's Rheinmetall up in Brisbane as well. Whether it's in defence industries, minerals processing or waste management, that is the plan we're rolling out in this country. All of that is occurring because of the vision and leadership of this government, which is going to create a future for advanced manufacturing that will not be supported by the higher taxes on electricity and energy that they have— (Time expired)