Wednesday, 22 March 2023
Questions without Notice
I thank Senator O'Neill for her very deep interest in this area and, of course, her interest in ensuring a new Labor government in New South Wales this coming weekend. Australia must be a country that makes things. The $115 billion National Reconstruction Fund is a key platform to support, diversify and transform Australian industry. The NRF will target projects and investments that help Australia capture new, high-value market opportunities. This will help our businesses grow and succeed in the economies of both today and tomorrow.
The NRF will provide finance to grow advanced manufacturing and support businesses to innovate and to move up the technological ladder, but it also supports out national sovereign capability. In the early days of the pandemic, people were shocked that Australia couldn't make enough masks or PPEs for our population. It showed the vulnerability of being the last link in the global supply chain. But the National Reconstruction Fund is about more than helping us produce things at short notice in times of crisis. It's about building a more resilient and more diversified economy with more jobs in regional Australia.
At the very heart of the National Reconstruction Fund is an ironclad belief in the capability of Australian know-how. The Albanese Government is committed to diversifying our industrial base, and the National Reconstruction Fund is the key to unlocking Australia's potential. I call on all senators in this chamber to support the National Reconstruction Fund.