House debates

Wednesday, 3 July 2024

Questions without Notice


2:11 pm

Photo of Alison ByrnesAlison Byrnes (Cunningham, Australian Labor Party) Share this | | Hansard source

My question is to the Minister for Industry and Science. How is the Albanese Labor Government delivering more secure jobs and investing in our manufacturers through the Future Made in Australia plan? What policies has the government ruled out, and why?

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

I thank the member for their question and note that 72,000 taxpayers in the electorate of Cunningham are better off from this week's tax cuts.

Strong economies possess strong manufacturing capabilities, and our Future Made in Australia plans are about mobilising Australian manufacturing to make the things that reduce emissions and create strong, secure jobs in the process, delivering sovereign capability—allowing us to stand on our own two feet—reducing our dependency on concentrated supply chains and building economic resilience—jobs up, emissions down, stronger economy. That's what our Future Made in Australia legislation is all about. We've got this once-in-a-generation opportunity to leverage off our deep reserves of critical minerals and resources. We've got a constant supply of sun and wind that bless our continent, and an army of skilled Australian workers who can get the job done to take our economy forward. The Future Made in Australia legislation introduced today by the Treasurer is about locking in our advantages and investing in our strengths and, importantly, doing so without pushing up energy prices for manufacturers with risky, expensive nuclear reactors.

You could fit their nuclear plans on a Post-it note, with space left over. They've got key details missing, like, how much will it actually cost? How much more will manufacturers and households pay for their power supply? It's an idea so staggeringly uninvestible they didn't even commit to work with the private sector to finance their power plants. Breathtakingly, we've got a Leader of the Opposition trying to dress this sham up as some sort of help for Australian manufacturing.

Remember, the Liberal and National parties only ever talk about manufacturing to talk it down. In government, they chased out our car manufacturers. They oversaw the destruction of 100,000 manufacturing jobs. In opposition, they wouldn't vote for the National Reconstruction Fund. They wouldn't back energy price relief for manufacturers and they wanted to call an early election to stop tax cuts for manufacturing workers.

Now, desperate to sell this dud of a policy, we hear in the distance the Deputy Leader of the Opposition say, 'Just tell them it's good for manufacturing'. The political nous just blows my mind. They're only talking about manufacturing now, friends, because it's in their political interests—not because it's the national interest; it's in their political interest, and they chase away manufacturers. Australian manufacturing workers deserve better, and our Future Made in Australia plan will deliver better.