Hon Karen Andrews MP, Minister for Industry, Science and Technology speaks about the $1.3 billion Morrison Government Manufacturing Strategy on 3AW Breakfast with Ross and Russel.
Is this COVID related?
The work was already underway to develop the manufacturing strategy before COVID; what we did have to do, was revisit that with what I call the COVID lens and a specific part of this package, which is related, is the resilience part of it; so what do we need to manufacture here in Australia to meet our needs in times of a crisis. So that directly came from COVID, but the rest of it has been in progress for many months now.
So, tell us why Victoria will get investment in medical and food and beverage and not other sectors.
There can be investment in all of those priority sectors in Victoria, but Victoria does have some strengths, most notably, in their food and beverage and medical products; but certainly, Victoria is not ruled out of anything at all, and neither is any state or territory. This is very open. I am very happy to look at all these six priority industry sectors and how they fit across Australia, so nothing’s ruled out.
How will it work if we still have to compete with countries that pay people nothing?
What this strategy does is set the new direction for Australian manufacturing, so we’re not going to continue to be all things to all people, we’re clearly saying that these are the priorities where we already have strengths where we can maximise on, and we can grow those, and particularly we can look at how we build scale. That’s where the opportunities will come for growth.
I do understand that people look around and say, well there’s not as many factories, but manufacturing is different now compared to what it was 10, 20, 30 years ago; a lot of is very high tech, but in Melbourne you’ve got the likes of CSL, which is a fantastic example of medical manufacturing; you have Grey Innovation step up and put together a consortium to develop and make invasive ventilators for us during COVID, so there are some real opportunities there; but manufacturing is fundamentally different now to what it was years ago, not just a filthy, dirty production process.
So, Minister, I’m just imagining I’m a budding medical entrepreneur here in Melbourne. How do I get my hands on some of this money?
So, what we are doing is we are going through a roadmap process so we will actually be talking to the experts in each of these priority areas to look at what within that is going to be our priority, and we’ll be opening the grant funding program by the middle of next year.
So, it’s grant funding. Okay.
It will be grant money, not a subsidy. What we are looking for is businesses working with other businesses, so it’s B2B; collaboration. We’ll also look at the innovation of new ideas; innovation is a key part of it, but we are really focusing on the building of scale.
That high tech, high value-add – Look Ross, surprisingly, I think this is amazing.