SA Labor pledges support for manufacturing

The Labor Party has promised to introduce programs to ‘transform’ the manufacturing sector in Adelaide’s northern suburbs, as the South Australian election nears.

As The Daily Telegraph reports, yesterday South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill outlined the plans, which includes $2 million over four years to support a new co-operative research centre.

The ABC reports that, if re-elected on March 15, Labor will also provide $800,000 to help entrepreneurs starting new ventures.

According to Manufacturing, Innovation and Trade Minister Tom Kenyon, half that amount will be paid to Majoran Distillery and Renew Adelaide, over a period of four years. Both organisations provide assistance to start-up businesses.

“It’s incredibly important they have some support at the start, that’s when they’re most vulnerable,” Kenyon said.

“The first two years is the time when most businesses fail if they’re going to fail, so having that support in the early years, somewhere to work, somewhere to meet other people in a similar position, to work together on problems, that’s an important thing.”

Energy Matters reports that Weatherill has also promised to help the state’s renewable energy sector. He pledged $2 million for a renewable energy research centre and announced a pilot program to install solar panels on public housing.

He launched that policy at Tindo Solar, which claims to be Australia’s only local solar panel manufacturer.

Despite the fact that there seems to be only one manufacturer, Weatherill said there will be a tender process to chose the supplier for the program. He explained that “there may be some local manufacturers we’re not aware of…”.