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September 06, 2019

Labor welcomes the Morrison Government’s announcement of funding to support local Australian manufacturers; however $50 million is an insult to the industry after slashing $4 billion in research and development (R&D) tax incentives.
Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Karen Andrews’ announcement yesterday of a $160 million Manufacturing Modernisation Fund only contains $50 million of government funding with the majority of investment onus put back onto industry.
The Productivity Commission’s Productivity Bulletin in May said “Australia’s future depends on a focus and investment in science and research, which will drive innovation.” However it highlighted that productivity growth in Australia had been “sluggish partly due to weak investment, particularly in research and development.”
R&D is key to the future of Australian industry, particularly the future of manufacturing in Australia. The Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre Competitiveness Plan calls on Government to “Improve government support for business-led R&D and encourage industry–research collaboration”*
If the Morrison Government was serious about helping manufactures to grow, become competitive globally and develop new technologies they would be investing in R&D.
*AMGC Sector Competiveness Plan