Budget boost to manufacturing to secure Australian jobs

The federal government is investing more than $475 million in the 2021-22 Budget to drive industry growth and scientific development, and help create high paying, sustainable jobs in manufacturing.

Minister for Industry, Science and Technology, Christian Porter, said the new funding is part of the government’s ongoing efforts to secure Australia’s future as a globally recognised, high-quality, sustainable and innovative manufacturing nation.

The funding builds on the $1.5 billion Modern Manufacturing Strategy announced in the October 2020-21 Budget.

“We have a clear vision to harness science and technology to expand existing industries and develop new ones, creating long-term and sustainable jobs,” Porter said.

“This Budget investment is another significant step in this direction and underpins the Government’s economic recovery plan.”

The new funding includes $117.8 million over the next four years to deliver Australia’s first Artificial Intelligence (AI) Action Plan, as part of the government’s Digital Economy Strategy.

The plan will support business to adopt AI, and the development of world leading AI projects, along with the associated high-skilled jobs these projects create.There will also be another $13.3 million to increase the capacity of the Australian Space Agency to deliver regulatory services and support the growth of the industry.

“Space is the new frontier for modern manufacturing and is one of the Government’s six National Manufacturing Priorities. Roadmaps developed with industry have recently been released by the Morrison Government to inform the long-term strategy in each of these priority industries, including space, and to help capture exciting new opportunities to grow these sectors and create jobs,” Minister Porter said.

“Innovation in the space sector also supports advancement in other essential industries, including agriculture and transport.”

Other announcements in the 2021-22 Budget to develop Australia’s science and technology capabilities include:

• advancing Australia’s manufacturing capacity by developing onshore mRNA vaccine capability, through continued negotiations and an approach to the Australian market, maximising the long-term potential applications of the mRNA platform

• developing a new Global Science and Technology Diplomacy Fund to create efficiencies and allow for a greater focus on supporting important emerging international science, research and technology collaborations with global partners

• $2.6 million to assist Australian manufacturers and small and medium-sized enterprises to access Commonwealth procurement