Senate debates

Thursday, 9 March 2023

Questions without Notice

National Reconstruction Fund

2:29 pm

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

Thanks, Senator Tyrrell. My understanding, bearing in mind I'm the representing minister, is that the answer is essentially the same. If what I'm about to say is not entirely correct, I'm obviously happy to give you the precise information later.

My understanding is that, just as with clean energy, the National Reconstruction Fund will be focussed on medical manufacturing—whether that be the manufacturing of pharmaceuticals, of medical devices, of vaccines or the actual manufacturing process and how that can be done more efficiently, generating more jobs and more profits in states like yours—whereas the medical research fund that you were talking about is more focused on funding the research for discovery of new vaccines, of new medicines and things like that rather than actually manufacturing them.

I guess the National Reconstruction Fund can take those discoveries one step further and, rather than having a great medical discovery here in Australia that then get manufactured overseas, we can make more things here in Australia, which we agree with. Unfortunately, there are a few people over there who don't.


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