The Gillard Government today announced a further suite of measures to ensure Australia has a dynamic manufacturing industry which continues to provide skilled and well-paid jobs.
A high-level Manufacturing Leaders Group will be led by Boeing Australia president, Ian Thomas, to help manufacturers seize the opportunities of the Asian Century.
The Government is appointing William Angove as the first Automotive Supplier Advocate to boost sales of Australian-made cars to government and business fleets and to work with the automotive industry to win new markets.
The Government has also agreed that the first funding round of the $236 million Industrial Transformation Research Program (ITRP) will focus on food research.
Food processing is a key area of opportunity as the rise of a large Asian middle class will lift demand for high-quality food products.
The ITRP is designed to develop partnerships between firms and researchers to boost the competitive edge of Australian industry.
Manufacturing employs nearly one million Australians and is an essential part of a broad-based Australian economy.
The sector is facing increased pressure due to the high Australian dollar and competition from low-cost economies in our region, which is why the Government established the Prime Minister's Manufacturing Taskforce.
Today's announcements follow other recent steps including:
• Establishing a new Anti-Dumping Commission with increased powers and resources to provide a fair go for Australian manufacturers and farmers.
• Support for innovative manufacturing through the $240 million 16th Cooperative Research Centres selection round, which will open for applications in February 2013. At least $50 million from this funding round will support the development and application of new technologies to support growth and competitiveness in Australian manufacturing.
• Provision of more than $38 million in Clean Technology Grants for food processors to improve energy efficiency, reduce costs and improve productivity.
• Establishing a Centre for Workplace Leadership to encourage higher performing workplaces and stronger leadership capability to boost productivity.
These further steps to strengthen Australian manufacturing and services reflect the recommendations of the Prime Minister's Manufacturing Taskforce, which reported this year.
Early next year the Government will release an Industry and Innovation Statement setting out a long term agenda to strengthen Australian industries, create Australian jobs and seize new opportunities in the Asian Century.
The Statement will outline the Government's plan to encourage the growth of a competitive, productive manufacturing sector built on innovation, quality products and services underpinned by the application of new research and knowledge.
Media Contact: Minister's office 02 6277 7920
08 December 2012