​Government shifts focus from industry grants to advice in budget

Over a billion dollars were cut from industry assistance
programs in last night’s federal budget.

Cuts to eight programs, including Commercialisation Australia
and Enterprise Connect, will save $845.6 million over the next five years,
reports The Australian.

There are also cuts to the Cooperative Research Centres program and the CSIRO, as well as reduced funding for Clean Technology programs and the end
of the Australian Renewable Energy Agency. These measures will save a projected
$124.5 million over the next five years.

The
budget “will redirect taxpayers’ dollars from spending that is consumed today
to productive investment for tomorrow,” according to the Budget Overview.

“The
Budget continues the evolution towards programmes that facilitate innovation
and self-reliance, by reducing and reshaping existing industry assistance
programmes into a new Entrepreneurs’ Infrastructure Programme that will focus
on supporting commercialisation of good ideas, job creation and lifting the
capability of small business.”

Innes
Willox from the Australian Industry Group said the Entrepreneurs programme needed to be explained to businesses, but, “We’re hoping is that it will
cherry-pick the best of programs like Enterprise Connect, like
Commercialisation Australia, all the research funding, pull that together and
make it very industry-focused. 

“So that the focus changes from grants to advice,
and that’s something that we would welcome on the whole.”

Image: http://www.littleaussietravellers.com.au/