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‘Stand on own two feet’: Labor commits $1bn to improve Australian manufacturing

If elected, a Labor Government intends to invest $1 billion towards improving Australia’s manufacturing industries.

Through an Advanced Manufacturing Fund, Labor aims to rebuild Australia’s industrial base across sectors like transport, defence, food processing, medical science, renewables, and low emission manufacturing technologies. It will be part of a $15 billion National Reconstruction Fund. 

“I want to be the Prime Minister who helps Australia stand on our own two feet again,” said Labor Leader Anthony Albanese. “Serious countries should make things. Serious countries can stand on their own two feet when it comes to manufacturing essentials.” 

Under this plan, Australian businesses will be able to access capital for research and development, innovating industrial processes, and diversifying their operations. Labor has committed to consulting with business leaders, local communities, and other stakeholders in identifying projects that grow advanced manufacturing jobs and support innovation.

“Labor wants to back the local know-how that is keen to not just rebuild manufacturing but use our smarts and technology to put our advanced manufacturing potential at the front of the global pack,” added Ed Husic, Shadow Minister for Industry and Innovation.

While Labor said the Coalition government had “overseen the loss of 85,000 manufacturing jobs” since they came to office, Labor Deputy Leader Richard Marles stopped short of specifying how many jobs this $1 billion investment would restore.

“There are hundreds of thousands of skilled and well-paid jobs up for grabs – but if manufacturing all goes overseas, we will miss out,” Mr Marles stated.

This announcement follows Labor’s previous campaign trail promises of a $1 billion value-adding resources fund to process raw minerals in the country and $1 billion for innovative technologies like artificial intelligence and software development.  

READ ALSO: Election 2022: Survey reveals what policies SME owners want to see from campaigning parties

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Rhea Laxmi Nath

Rhea Laxmi Nath

Rhea L Nath is a Sydney-based writer and editor. In 2022, she was named Young Journalist of the Year at the NSW Premier's Multicultural Communications Awards.

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