Budget holds little for NSW manufacturers says deputy premier

NSW Deputy Premier Andrew Stoner has criticised the 2011-12 Federal budget, saying it lacks measures to support business innovation and does nothing to deal with the disasterous effects of the record high Australian dollar.

Stoner said that while the budget did contain measures to help NSW’s A$38 billion-dollar-a-year manufacturing industry with training and skills, he also noted many faillings.

“Apart from skills formation and workforce development initiatives, the budget contains relatively few industry development measures,” Stoner told Manufacturers Monthly.

“Most notably, there are no new initiatives to support exporters at a time of a strong Aussie Dollar, and there are also no significant measures to build business innovation.“

Stoner also said that the cuts to defence spending, billed at close to A$4.6 billion over five years, would deal a blow to the NSW defence manufacturing sector.

“The Commonwealth’s cuts to the defence budget will also have an impact on defence procurement, which could flow through to reduced demand from advanced manufacturers working to defence contracts and defence service providers," he said.

Stoner did welcome the Federal Government’s ‘Buy Australian at Home and Abroad’ initiative aimed at helping manufacturers better compete for projects in resources sectors.

“Manufacturers will stand to benefit from the package to help suppliers better secure resource sector projects," Stoner said.

“However, this appears to be the only significant measure designed explicitly to spread resources sector demand to other sectors of the economy."

At a paltry A$34 million for the initiative, it remains to be seen how effective this initiative will be in spreading the success of the mining boom to the manufacturing sector.

Picture: The Daily Telegraph

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