Grants and funding, Manufacturing, Manufacturing News

Senate passes $15 billion NRF bill

Manufacturers' Monthly

Prime minister Anthony Albanese announced that the National Reconstruction Fund (NRF) bill has passed the upper house, calling it “one of biggest-ever investments in Australian manufacturing”.

The Federal Government’s $15 billion National Reconstruction Fund will now be established in law, after passing the House of Representatives earlier this month.

“Australia has all the resources that go into solar panels, batteries and other finished products. We should be making them here. And that’s what this investment is all about. It will mean more secure jobs and more world-class products made in Australia,” Albanese said. 

“Recognising that during the pandemic, our vulnerabilities at the end of supply chains were exposed for all to see. We’ve been very good at exporting our resources and should continue to do so.

“But where possible, we should be value-adding, creating jobs here, particularly in our regions and in our outer suburbs. And this is about manufacturing. It’s about making sure that we make more things here, that we’re less exposed to the supply chain issues which we continue to see placing pressure on inflation,” the prime minister added.

The NRF was announced by the government in the Federal Budget for October 2022 and will invest $15 billion across priority areas of the economy including renewables and low emissions technologies, medical science, transport, value-adding in resources, value-adding in agriculture, forestry and fisheries, defence capability and enabling technologies.

Minister for industry and science Ed Husic said it is a big day for Australian industry and for Australian jobs, from our outer suburbs through to the regions.

“We want to create good, secure work for Australians and being able to rebuild Australian manufacturing. It’s time for us to get up off the mat.

“This fund, the National Reconstruction Fund, is about Australians backing Australians in terms of pursuing those ideas. It’s from the factory floor to the lab bench to the boardrooms of this country, making sure that we’ve got that huge growth capital available to unlock what is really important for the economy and jobs long-term. And the National Reconstruction Fund will be the greatest investment in manufacturing capabilities in living memory.”

Minister for finance, Katy Gallagher, said, “After a decade of uncertainty, the National Reconstruction Fund will support Australian innovation and industry. More things being made here means more jobs for Australians.”

The NRF will be administered by an independent board making independent investment decisions. It is modelled on the successful Clean Energy Finance Corporation.

Senate amendments will now return to the House of Representatives.

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