Monday, 22 February 2021
Questions without Notice
My question is to the Minister representing the Minister for Industry, Science and Technology, Senator Seselja. The Morrison government has committed $1.5 billion to the Modern Manufacturing Strategy to assist Australian manufacturers across six national priority areas to scale up, improve competitiveness and build more resilient supply chains. Can the minister please update the Senate on the delivery of the strategy?
I thank Senator McLachlan for a very good question. The government launched its $1.5 billion Modern Manufacturing Strategy as part of the 2020-21 budget. It is a key feature of our JobMaker Plan designed to harness Australia's manufacturing capability, drive our economic recovery and ensure future resilience. It's all about jobs and using the best Australian science and technology to scale up our manufacturing businesses for the long term.
Delivery of the strategy is on track and it is well advanced. In fact, on Friday the Minister for Industry, Science and Technology visited a great local business, Skykraft, to launch the $1.3 billion Modern Manufacturing Initiative and the first of our detailed industry road maps which have been developed by government in partnership with industry and will inform our grant delivery.
The first sector to be rolled out is the space sector, and our other five priority sectors will be launched in the coming weeks. Businesses in the space sector can now apply for grants in two of the three streams of the initiative. These two streams are designed to help businesses translate their great ideas into commercial outcomes and to support projects that integrate Australian businesses into global supply chains. For these two streams, the translation and integration streams, the Commonwealth will cover up to 50 per cent of the project costs. This initiative is all about scaling up manufacturing to grow jobs, so the minimum grant will be $1 million. This is matched funding because we believe industry has to have skin in the game.
I'm also pleased to advise that the Manufacturing Modernisation Fund, our stream to help SMEs improve their production, is also well underway, with grants of between $100,000 and $1 million available. More than 500 applications had been received when the round closed last month. They are currently being assessed and we expect the successful applicants will start to receive their funding this financial year.
Yes, I can. Space not only captures the public imagination and opens up new worlds; investment in space technology has practical benefits for our everyday lives, from technology that helps emergency workers plan for bushfires and helps farmers manage their crops to advances in automation, robotics, engineering and satellite technology. The Space National Manufacturing Priority road map identifies key areas of opportunity for government and industry to work together to lift space manufacturing capability, drive collaboration by helping Australian businesses demonstrate their space qualified products and facilitate access to domestic and global supply chains. This will help Australian businesses compete for a slice of the growing global space industry, and there are benefits right down the line for businesses. For example, Canberra business Skykraft are building small satellite constellations to help improve our communications, travel and banking. They've teamed up with local Canberra manufacturer XTEK to produce the carbon fibre— (Time expired)
Yes, I can. The global space sector is currently worth over $350 billion. Our goal is to make sure our Australian businesses can get access to that market. That's why the Liberal-National government established the Australian Space Agency, and we've now entered into a number of formal agreements with international space agencies, including those in the UK, the UAE, the EU, the US, Japan and India, and others. Australia is one of the seven founding international partners who have signed the Artemis Accords. This is a practical set of principles for cooperation among nations participating in NASA's 21st century lunar exploration. Our government is ensuring our local industry has the opportunity to benefit from the Artemis mission, with our Moon to Mars initiative, which provides grants to businesses to help them become part of the supply chain for the mission. It's an exciting era for the Australian space industry, and this government is backing it all the way.