Today’s $1.5b investment in Australian manufacturing recognises the country’s need to scale up our first-class research into industry competitive on the world stage.
“What we have at present is a manufacturing sector that has been declining in terms of share of the economy for some time,” ACCI CEO James Pearson said.
“Many traditional sectors have shut down or shifted overseas without being replaced by new, innovative ones – we need to do more to commercialise the new ideas we’re generating.
“This is about tapping into the extraordinary wealth of talent in Australian companies and research organisations, such as CSIRO, to create a new manufacturing sector focused on a few, advanced specialties that are our strengths.
“It’s about building industry in Australia centred on the new ideas and innovation that we’re creating, rather than allowing them to leave our shores – we don’t want to see Australian talent moving overseas because there is not the opportunity to use their skills in the Australian market.
“We know that one job created in manufacturing creates three to four in other parts of the economy, so the opportunity for overall jobs growth is immense.
“The emphasis on collaboration is key here. Australia, because of its size, cannot compete when our businesses go it alone; when government, business and research organisations work as independent players.
“What we have found is that collaboration between businesses, industry and government leads to commercialisation and global opportunities. Today’s announcement establishes a better balance between direct and indirect R&D and innovation incentives, but we still need to work towards abolishing the proposed Treasury Laws Amendment (Research and Development Tax Incentive) Bill 2019.
“The success of the Government’s new manufacturing initiative will greatly depend on government, the research community, and the private sector working together over the coming years to realise the opportunities that lie ahead.
“Supporting our manufacturing sector to be innovative and internationally competitive should be a priority for Industry Policy. Today’s announcement is a very large step towards this goal.”