House debates

Tuesday, 23 November 2021

Questions without Notice

The Action Plan for Critical Technologies

2:52 pm

Photo of Celia HammondCelia Hammond (Curtin, Liberal Party) Share this | | Hansard source

My question is to the Minister for Defence Industry and Minister for Science and Technology. Will the minister outline to the House how the Morrison government's investment in our critical technologies plan is creating jobs and supporting our economic recovery as we come back from the COVID-19 recession?

Photo of Melissa PriceMelissa Price (Durack, Liberal Party, Minister for Defence Industry) Share this | | Hansard source

Mr Speaker, congratulations on your elevation to the speakership. And can I thank the member for Curtin for her question and acknowledge her tremendous support for our tech industry in Western Australia and also across Australia.

Last week the Prime Minister released our Blueprint for critical technologies. This blueprint sets out our vision for protecting and promoting critical technologies that are in our national interest, and the economic opportunities for our industries. The four goals set out under the blueprint are pretty straightforward. Firstly, we must ensure that we have access to and choice in critical technologies and systems that are secure, reliable and cost-effective. Secondly, we must promote Australia as a trusted and secure partner for investment, research, innovation and adoption of critical technologies. Thirdly, it's essential we maintain the integrity of our research, science, ideas, information and capabilities to enable Australian industries to thrive and maximise our sovereign IP. And, fourthly, we must support regional resilience and shape an international environment that enables open, diverse and competitive markets, and secure and trusted technological innovation.

As part of our plan, the Prime Minister, Minister Hume and I announced our government would be investing over $110 million to secure Australia's quantum future. Our government is committed to supporting the commercialisation, adoption and use of this incredibly important technology to create jobs, support Australian business and keep Australians safe. It is estimated that the development of quantum technologies in Australia can deliver Australia up to $4 billion in economic value and create some 16,000 new jobs by 2040. Proudly, the Australian technology industry has emerged as one of our country's most significant employers, creating $167 billion in economic output per year and employing more than 860,000 Australians, according to new research released by the Tech Council of Australia.

Looking now to a new jobs frontier, space technologies are relied upon by Australians each and every day when navigating the systems in their cars and on their phones, by farmers identifying the health of their crops, and also by emergency workers for planning and responding to bushfires. We have a national mission to triple the size of the space sector in Australia to $12 billion and create up to 20,000 new jobs by 2030, and we are up to that mission.