Senate debates

Wednesday, 8 March 2023

Questions without Notice

Manufacturing Industry

2:54 pm

Photo of Murray WattMurray Watt (Queensland, Australian Labor Party, Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry) Share this | Hansard source

Well, Senator O'Neill, it is my melancholy duty to say that there are threats to this proposal. While the resources and agriculture industry are saying yes, yes, yes to the National Reconstruction Fund, those opposite keep saying no, no, no. These are industries that the National Party of all groups are supposed to be champions for in this place.

I take the interjection from Senator McKenzie that it is a coalition, and perhaps that suggests that, maybe, there's not full agreement between the Liberals and the Nationals on this point. That would be very interesting to explore. I note that, in the past, Nationals Senator Matt Canavan has acknowledged that the past 20 years of federal governments, including his own, have dropped the ball on Australian manufacturing. He said that they dropped the ball, but there has been a real renaissance in manufacturing in Australia. Well, Senator Canavan and all the Nationals: I invite you to join with us with the National Farmers Federation and with the Australian Aluminium Council to get behind regional manufacturing. There's an opportunity to stand up to the north shore Liberals and back regional Australia. (Time expired)


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