Food And Beverage Manufacturing Dinner

Prime Minister

I begin by acknowledging the traditional owners of the land on which we meet and I pay my respects to elders past, present and emerging.

There are some truly iconic brands represented here tonight.

Favourites of Australian families, for generations.

A key ingredient in so many of our celebrations and shared memories.

Australians feel a real sense of connection to the things you make.

And it’s just not Australians who love your work, the brands here represent some of our most famous exports to the world.

Your companies, your workforce and your collective commitment to excellence have ensured that whenever and wherever people see the label ‘Australian Made’ they know it stands for world-class quality, great value and high-skill and sustainable production.

And just as importantly our Government knows that Australian made food and beverage stands for more than one quarter of all manufacturing jobs in Australia.

Good jobs that strengthen local communities.

I’ve seen this for myself, all over our nation.

In Bundaberg, where last year they opened their new Master Brewery.

A great Australian name, investing in new jobs and new technology and investing in their hometown.

Tassal, in the Huon Valley, taking world-famous Tasmanian salmon to market.

And the revamped Darrell Lea factory in Ingleburn, where last year I met George and Beatrice, who’ve worked at Darrell Lea for 47 and 29 years respectively.

That’s the kind of loyalty and commitment so many workers in your industry demonstrate.

People who are proud of where they work and what they do. Proud to be part of the great national success story of food and beverage manufacturing.

And together I want us to write the next chapter in that story and create the next generation of Australian prosperity.

To bring more good jobs to our suburbs and regional centres.

To invest in the clean energy that will power manufacturing in a net zero economy.

To build the infrastructure and embrace the technology that will drive our future productivity.

To make our future here in Australia and make it the Australian way.

High-value products, high-skill work and high standards of safety and sustainability.

That’s the central purpose of our National Reconstruction Fund.

Investing in Australia’s self-reliance, moving our economy up the international value chain.

Including $500 million set aside for value-adding in agriculture, forestry, fisheries, food and fibre.

And a further $1 billion for advanced manufacturing.

I’m proud that the National Reconstruction Fund is open for business.

An important vehicle, ready to invest in our economic sovereignty.

Ready to drive new investment in sustainable projects that contribute to decarbonisation, and embrace the principles of a circular economy.

Ready to back projects that support a skilled, adaptable workforce including investing in workers who might otherwise miss out on these opportunities.

I am proud to lead a Government delivering one of the biggest-ever investments in manufacturing capability in Australian history.

Because I know when Government makes the investment, Australians make the most of the opportunity.

We see that in vocational education: we announced 180,000 fee-free TAFE places for 2023 and over 350,000 Australians enrolled, seeking out new skills for themselves.

We see it in trade because when Government is willing to invest in our relationships, to pursue greater diversity in who we trade with then companies like yours can achieve greater diversity in what we trade, building and securing new export markets.

When you have a Government that doesn’t let ideology and politics get in the way of renewable energy then business can embrace its potential.

And when Australia invests in research and science and development, then we make it easier for our innovators to commercialise their ideas.

We make it easier for Australian breakthroughs to create new Australian jobs.

Skills. Trade. Clean Energy. Innovation. Jobs.

These are at the heart of our Government’s economic agenda, they are fundamental to our vision for a future made in Australia.

And I know they can be the core of our co-operation and our shared success in the years ahead.

Have a wonderful evening.

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