With US 1.3bn governments aims to redefine manufacturing prioritising resources, medical, food, recycling, defence and space industries, revealed Prime Minister during his speech on Thursday.
A mammoth program named Modern Manufacturing Initiative and paid with more than 1billion taxpayers funds hopes to create partnerships of the state governments, industry, and academic institutions in investment in advanced technologies, including automation, big data, and artificial intelligence.
We make things in Australia. We do it well. We need to keep making things in Australia. And with this strategy, we will, Prime Minister Morrison, stated.
Opposition did not seem to be willing to discuss the plan. Labor Leader Antony Albanese called PM's statement "another big speech from Scott Morrison". "The cameras will flash. The media release will go out. But Australians will be asking themselves – how much of today’s photo op will be empty words with no follow up?", Mr Albanese commented.
The government's initiative is based on the taxpayer-funded grants that are going to revitalise economy in three areas: research and development, the start-ups targeting local and global markets and relocating supply chains from Communist China.
Mr. Morrison hopes that the investments in R&D will prop up more financial hubs like still-under-construction Western Sydney Aerotropolis and other business centers. Each innovative project may count on the subsidies of $ 80m on average - the most generous funding of the initiative.
The government has also committed to $4 m grants of venture capital for start-ups - for industry-led projects translating research and bringing new products to the market, including the local market.
Local producers may get the same money shot for connecting with global value chains, which is to finance everything from the designing products to production and supply to the customer on the global markets.
This part of an initiative aims, also to recover the sovereignty of supply chains, relocating them to the home industries or in the countries which share Australia's values.
The efficiency benefits of hyper-globalisation and highly fragmented supply chains can evaporate very quickly in the event of a major global shock like the virus pandemic, as we have seen, PM Morrison stated.
Sovereignty of Australia's Supply-Chains
Australia is now conducting a whole-of-government review of vulnerabilities, the supply chains of which the most obvious is dependence on Communist China.
According to the Department of Industry, Science, Energy, and Resources, the initiative decoupling Australia's manufacturers from Communist China, Supply Chain Resilience Initiative, will cost $ 107.2 million. It will cover grants for vulnerable manufacturers and industry dependent on long-term international supply contracts. Grants are supposed to be available from July 1, 2021.
But the firms of Modern Manufacturing Initiative need to operate in six areas that government sees as the most crucial ones: resources technology and critical minerals processing, manufacturing of food and beverages, medical products, clean energy and recycling, the defence and space industry.
PM Morrison has mentioned two Australian companies based in Sydney Cochlear, vaccine producer CSL in Melbourne, Anglo-Australian BHP, and two American Boeing and medical equipment producer ResMed in his speech. All of the foreign companies have their manufacturing facilities in Australia.
Mr. Morrison praised three medical firms, two Australians and one American one, for playing a critical role in response to the Wuhan virus.
Although the Coalition plan covers the renewable energy and recycling sector with the potential of an increased supply of hydrogen technology and battery storage to global markets, it did not satisfy the Left.
Australia could have a major manufacturing sector, wrote editor of the leftist The Monthly Nick Feick. He claimed that the government has ignored or decried Australia’s renewables sector, although it is an advantageous sector for Australia. The benefits in terms of cheap energy would carry the rest of the manufacturing sector and would produce jobs by the truckload, he stated.
This is about Australia playing to its strengths and the Government strategically investing in areas of manufacturing where we know we have an edge, and that can deliver the jobs we need, Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Ms. Karen Andrews commented.