Creating and supporting jobs has always been my number one priority.
I have always been the strongest advocate for manufacturing in Geelong.
I am proud that Labor acted to keep the economy growing through the Global Financial Crisis.
Our economy is experiencing structural change due to the resources boom, the high
Australian dollar and the rapid growth of Asian economies.
To meet these challenges, Labor has developed A Plan for Australian Jobs.
Labor’s $1 billion plan for industry – backing our local manufacturers
o Large projects must give Australian businesses a fair chance to win work
o Protection from unfairly dumped goods from overseas.
o Better access for small businesses to finance, skills, technology and Government support
o Industry Innovation Precincts linking business and university
I will be actively working with manufacturers, Deakin University and our region to bid for an Industry Innovation Precinct to be based right here in Geelong. Geelong has an extensive and innovative manufacturing industry and Deakin University has received significant Federal investment including $21m for the CADET program, and $37m for the AFFRIC advanced materials research program.
I believe Geelong will put in a very strong bid, and I will be keeping you informed of our progress with this valuable initiative.
There is record investment of hundreds of millions of dollars is going into major projects in Australia’s resources and infrastructure sectors.
But local firms can struggle to win work on these projects, which are often run by multinationals unfamiliar with Australian suppliers.
The Government will legislate to boost local opportunities on these projects.
Projects worth more than $500 million will have to adopt Australian Industry Participation plans outlining how they will give local businesses a fair chance to win work on these projects.
For Australian industry this could mean extra work of around $1.6 billion a year – and that will translate into thousands of new jobs.
In addition the Government will improve safeguards for local industry against unfair competition from goods dumped into the Australian market.
A new Anti-Dumping Commission is being created to investigate complaints of dumping which is injuring local industry and jeopardising local jobs.
Federally we already buy more Australian-made cars for its vehicle fleet. However, the NSW, Queensland and WA State Governments and many local councils buy significantly lower proportions of Australian-made cars.
This is not acceptable – so the Gillard Government has appointed a new Automotive Supplier Advocate to boost the number of Australian-made cars in State Government and private sector vehicle fleets.
Australian businesses need to be more innovative to capitalise on the economic opportunities of the future. We have incredible research going on at places like Deakin University.
The Government will establish up to 10 Industry Innovation Precincts.
These Industry Innovation Precincts will bring industry, firms, research institutions, technology experts and government agencies together – they will work to achieve the innovations our businesses need to succeed in the future.
This package of reforms will help build our local manufacturing industry right here locally.