Australia has a strong manufacturing history and will have a strong manufacturing future.
Today, the Government is announcing a wide-ranging industry initiative comprising targeted support for regions impacted by the wind-down of Holden’s manufacturing operations by 2017; reviews of the South Australian and Victorian economies; and development of a National Industry Investment and Competitiveness Agenda which will focus on our strengths, create jobs and exploit our competitive advantages.
Transitioning from heavy industrial manufacturing to higher value added production calls for a national, strategic response rather than a piecemeal one based on hand-outs and subsidies.
Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane said Australia has the opportunity to seize new markets, captialise on its inventive nature, and create new jobs as the country moves to join a new global era of industry growth and build a sophisticated manufacturing base.
“Australia has a strong manufacturing pedigree that will stand us in good stead as we move towards production in new sectors and new industries,” Mr Macfarlane said.
“While the decision by GM Holden to end car manufacturing from 2017 will create a difficult transition period for affected workers and communities, there is the window of opportunity to use the skills in this industry to build a manufacturing future in new, innovative and exportable processes and products.
Joint press release
Senator The Hon George Brandis QC
Attorney-General and Minister for the Arts
The Hon Ian Walker MP
Minister for Science, Information Technology, Innovation and the Arts (Queensland)
18 December 2013
Australia continues to be a premier destination for international screen production with Hollywood blockbuster, San Andreas, presented by New Line Cinema in association with Village Roadshow Pictures, to start filming in Queensland early next year.
Federal Minister for the Arts, Senator the Hon George Brandis QC said securing such a large budget production for Australia is a major coup that will bring substantial and ongoing economic benefits to Australia.
Manufacturing, Innovation and Trade Minister, Tom Kenyon is in Melbourne today attending the first of two automotive industry roundtable meetings called by the South Australian and Victorian State Governments following Holden's decision to close in 2017.
Mr Kenyon said it was important for the State Government to work closely with Victoria as the urgency and magnitude of the issues caused by Holden's closure required support for a national solution.
"Today's meeting will be chaired by the Victorian Premier, Dennis Napthine and will focus on what's needed for a comprehensive transition and assistance package for workers and auto manufacturing businesses affected by the closure," Mr Kenyon said.
An excellent example of Australia's commitment to economic diplomacy was on display in Melbourne today with the launch of the Australian-Afghan Business Council (AABC) by the Minister for Trade and Investment Andrew Robb.
The establishment of the AABC reflects Australia's strong ongoing commitment to support Afghanistan into the future, including in the areas of development assistance and security.
With economic development so critical to Afghanistan, the AABC will play a key role in fostering trade and investment and business-to-business links between Australia and Afghanistan.
Noting the challenges ahead for Afghanistan, Mr Robb said that the Australian-Afghan Business Council is starting from a position of strength.
Australia's total export volumes grew by 6.0 per cent in 2012-13 according to Composition of Trade, Australia 2012-13 and Trade in Primary and Manufactured Products 2012-13, two publications released today by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
Leading the growth in export volumes, minerals and fuels increased by 9.8 per cent in 2012-13, well above the average rate of 5.3 per cent for these exports over the past 10 years.
Rural export volumes also grew strongly, up 8.7 per cent in 2012-13.
Overall, export values fell 4.5 per cent to $301.5 billion in 2012-13, as the increase in export volumes was outweighed by the fall in export prices (down 9.9 per cent).
Minister for Industry Ian Macfarlane has released an Issues Paper to begin consultation on the Australian Government’s Energy White Paper.
“This is an important step in the process of completing the Government’s Energy White Paper process,” Mr Macfarlane said.
“The Issues Paper is centred around reducing cost pressures on households and businesses, and will include matters such as security of energy supplies, regulatory reform and energy productivity.
“The Issues Paper also seeks comment on growth and investment to maintain Australia’s competitive position, trade and international relations, workforce productivity to meet ongoing industry demand and alternate sources of energy to diversify our energy mix.”
Today, we release the first transparent and comprehensive account of the historic debt and deficits inherited from Labor.
The Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook forecasts a $47 billion deficit in 2013-14, and $123 billion worth of cumulative deficits over the forward estimates.
The budget position since the Pre-Election Economic and Fiscal Outlook, released on August 13, has deteriorated by $68 billion over the forward estimates.
In the absence of any policy changes from what we have inherited, the Budget would not return to surplus within the 10-year medium-term projections. During this time, gross debt on issue is projected to increase to $667 billion.
The Hon Christopher Pyne MP
Minister for Education
Leader of the House
Research into treatments for diabetes, dementia and tropical diseases are getting a $103 million boost after MYEFO confirmed a key Coalition election commitment today.
Minister for Education Hon Christopher Pyne MP said the redirection of the funding will help researchers deliver outcomes that will have significant benefit to the nation through the Australian Research Council (ARC).
“Investing and supporting medical research is one of the best long-term investments in health that a government can make,” Mr Pyne said.
“This announcement is good news for research and good news for Australia.
South Australia has cemented its relationship with one of China's leading banks to mark the 12 month anniversary of the State Government's China Engagement Strategy.
Manufacturing, Innovation and Trade Minister, Tom Kenyon has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the China Development Bank which will accelerate continued Chinese investment in South Australia.
Mr Kenyon said that the agreement was another major step forward in developing the State's increasingly strong partnership with China.
"China is our largest overseas export market, accounting for almost one-fifth of our exports, and is our number one source country for overseas students.
17 December 2013: The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) released draft guide (LPG 270) on 10 December which provides broad guidance on practices to better identify the risks around group insurance arrangements for life insurance (and some general insurers) that provide life insurance, total and permanent disability (TPD), and income protection insurance to registrable superannuation entity (RSE) licensees for beneficiaries. It also provides guidance for insurers on prudent practices for group insurance arrangements when responding to tenders and data management.
The first meeting of the Joint Commonwealth and Tasmanian Economic Council was held today. The Council will bring together members from the Commonwealth and Tasmanian Governments, and Tasmanian business, to consider the competitive reforms required to boost Tasmania’s long-term growth.
The first meeting was held between the Prime Minister, the Treasurer, the Tasmanian Premier and the Chair, Mr Dale Elphinstone. The Council will also include the Chair of the Tasmanian Major Projects Approval Agency, once appointed, plus additional members drawn from the Tasmanian business community.
The Strategic Review of the National Broadband Network recommends the project be completed using a mix of technologies to save $32 billion, keep monthly bills lower and deliver the NBN to all Australians four years sooner than under Labor's plan.
The Strategic Review finds the Government's goal of completing the NBN in six years is achievable. By 2019 nine out of ten Australians can have access to download rates of at least 50 megabits per second (and as many as seven out of ten to 100 megabits per second or more).
The Review estimates Labor's all-fibre NBN will cost $73 billion and take until 2024 to complete, and increase average broadband bills by up to 80 per cent to meet the rate of return targeted by the former Government.
Substantial progress has been made in advancing Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP) negotiations, but improved market access remains fundamental to Australia’s negotiating position.
Trade and Investment Minister Andrew Robb has just returned from a four day TPP Ministerial Meeting in Singapore involving 12 participating countries.
“This was a very productive four days and while potential landing zones have been identified for a number of outstanding issues, the negotiations remain a work in progress,” Mr Robb said.
“I have been clear from the outset that Australia is very determined to see an ambitious market access outcome, in fact it remains fundamental to the successful completion of negotiations.”
Foreign Minister Julie Bishop today co-hosted the 22nd Australia-Papua New Guinea Ministerial Forum, with her counterpart Rimbink Pato, PNG Minister for Foreign Affairs and Immigration. Seventeen ministers from Australia and PNG attended the Forum.
The Australia-PNG relationship is one of this Government's highest foreign policy priorities. Australia and PNG enjoy a special relationship – one of mutual affection, shared history, shared geography and shared interests.
The Forum was an opportunity to broaden, deepen and diversify our relationship with PNG, reflecting the rapid changes occurring within our nearest neighbour and basing it on an economic and strategic partnership.
Over the next twenty years the sector will need to invest substantial amounts of capital to meet the growing demand for energy – and do so in the context of rising cost pressure and competitive forces.
This report (and accompanying presentation) examines the ability of companies in the upstream Oil & Gas sector to deliver value to shareholders on this large future investment.
We have done this by identifying the top performing companies, as measured by their return on capital employed (ROCE), and isolating the key characteristics that enable them to deliver returns over and above that of their peers.
The Hon Christopher Pyne MP
Minister for Education
Leader of the House
Projects that focus on helping disadvantaged students, particularly Indigenous Australians to attend university will share in $50 million from the Australian Government.
Minister for Education the Hon Christopher Pyne MP said 17 projects have been selected that will inspire and develop the capability of those disadvantaged students to attend university.
“We know that university education leads to higher paid and higher skilled jobs,” Mr Pyne said.
Australian farm exports are forecast to be around $38 billion in 2013–14, with higher forecasts for beef and veal, wine, and dairy products, according to the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES).
Today, ABARES released its latest assessment on the outlook for agricultural export earnings in the December edition of Agricultural Commodities.
ABARES Executive Director, Ms Karen Schneider, said that if farm exports reach the forecast $38 billion, this would be a record high in nominal terms and around 8 per cent above the average over the five years to 2012-13 in real terms.
Today marks the launch of the pilot program for Australia's New Colombo Plan, a signature Australian Government initiative to send undergraduate students to countries across the region to learn, build friendships and strengthen ties with our Indian Ocean Asia-Pacific neighbours.
The Government has committed $100 million in new funding over five years to implement the Plan. The New Colombo Plan Secretariat has been established in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade to further develop and implement the new program, working with the Department of Education to deliver the awards.
Tuesday 10 December 2013 - As the hedge fund industry matures, managers who survived the financial crisis are beginning to focus on growing beyond their original business models, according to EY’s seventh annual survey of the global hedge fund market, Exploring pathways to growth. However the survey shows that, while managers want to grow their assets under management through new products and distribution channels, investors do not necessarily plan to increase allocations to hedge funds and are not interested in buying multiple products from one manager.
Senator the Hon Eric Abetz
Leader of the Government in the Senate
Minister for Employment
Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Public Service
Senator for Tasmania
The Hon Bruce Billson MP
Minister for Small Business
Minister for Employment, Senator Eric Abetz and the Minister for Small Business, Bruce Billson today joined the Fair Work Ombudsman to launch a new helpline for small business.
"We said before the election we would restore confidence in the sector, encourage growth, drive employment and innovation and this delivers on the Coalition’s Policy to Improve the Fair Work Laws," Senator Abetz said.
Young people have a unique opportunity to contribute to the G20 Summit in 2014 through the Youth 20 (Y20) Summit.
On 1 December 2013, Australia took over the G20 presidency. The world’s 20 largest economies will come together in Brisbane in 2014 for the G20. The Y20, as the official G20 event for youth, provides a platform for young leaders to discuss new ideas and engage in meaningful discussions on issues that affect young people. The Y20 will help strengthen the G20 discussions and outcomes by harnessing the special flavour and energy that young people have to offer.
Trade Ministers from 159 countries have reached an historic trade agreement in Bali that will create more than 21 million jobs worldwide.
As a participant in the negotiations, Australia's Trade and Investment Minister, Andrew Robb, warmly welcomed this WTO outcome.
The trade reform package will make it easier and cheaper for goods to flow through the ports and customs processes of 159 countries.
The agreements adopted today reaffirm the global commitment to eliminate agricultural export subsidies, address genuine food security needs through non-trade distorting policies, and to maximise export opportunities under tariff rate quotas.
South Australian-made products from mine detectors to medical lasers and Fruchocs will be showcased in Rundle Mall over the next two days to help promote the State's manufacturing expertise.
Manufacturing, Innovation and Trade Minister, Tom Kenyon said the Rundle Mall event will focus on the importance of manufacturing to the State's economy and highlight future jobs and skills required in the sector.
"We have world-class manufacturing capabilities in this state - from food and wine production and environmental technologies to automotive and mining products and services," Mr Kenyon said.