The 2012/13 Victorian Budget will provide $58 million of funding over the next four years for new productivity networks, support for new technology and innovation and specialist advice and services for Victorian manufacturers.
According to the minister for manufacturing, exports and trade, Richard Dalla-Riva, the Budget sets out “a clear plan to meet real and serious challenges and position Victoria to take full advantage of future opportunities” in manufacturing.
"Manufacturing is central to Victoria's economy, worth around $28 billion to the state and $108 billion to the national economy," Dalla-Riva said.
"Last year manufacturing generated 300,000 jobs and $15.3 billion in exports in Victoria.
"For manufacturing to meet challenges like the high Australian dollar, increasing global competition and the carbon tax, it must be a high performance industry, driven by increased productivity and innovation.
"This Budget is shaped by the challenges of the present. We cannot ignore those realities, but we can't afford to simply accept them either.”
Grants up for grabs
A $24.8 million Investing in Manufacturing Technology program, which will reportedly provide cash sums of up to $250,000 to help Victorian manufacturers acquire and integrate new technologies.
"These grants will support Victorian manufacturers to transform their operations by adopting strategies that improve productivity and competitiveness, strengthen capability and encourage wider and ongoing innovation," Dalla-Riva said.
The Government has also committed $7.5 million to the Manufacturing Productivity Networks initiative to help manufacturers build and strengthen co-operative arrangements between each other, research organisations, service providers and customers.
"This funding includes support for networks to plan and scope potential activities and to undertake specific projects such as information exchanges, collaboration with research institutions or pursuing new business and market opportunities," Dalla-Riva said.
A new Specialist Manufacturing Service worth $13.7 will deliver practical services that will help business and open up new markets.
“Small manufacturers will also benefit from a $9 million commitment for a Building Innovative Small Manufacturers program. This program will provide information and support services, including workshops and seminar programs, a customised on-line entry point and mentoring for enterprises," Dalla-Riva said.
- A further $3 million has been allocated to help manage the transition for retrenched manufacturing workers, particularly in regional communities, through a response team that will provide early information and support services.
"This Budget is about driving economic activity, productivity and jobs," Mr Dalla-Riva said.
"It's about taking responsible and necessary action to meet our challenges and rebuild the state's finances.
"This Budget delivers the practical support to build a stronger, more innovative and agile manufacturing sector to secure future growth and jobs across Victoria," Dalla-Riva said.