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Monday, 23 November 2015
Page: 13267

Hindmarsh Electorate: Manufacturing

Mr WILLIAMS (Hindmarsh) (15:04): My constituency question is to the Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science. The Manufacturing Transition Grants Programme has provided $2.6 million of funding to Philmac in my electorate. How can targeted programs from the government help facilitate more jobs and growth to companies around Australia, including in my seat of Hindmarsh?

Mr PYNE (SturtLeader of the House, Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science) (15:05): I thank the member for Hindmarsh for his question about Philmac and their role in accessing the Advanced Manufacturing program. The member for Hindmarsh has been working very closely with businesses in Hindmarsh, in Adelaide's western suburbs, to help promote a movement to advanced manufacturing. Initiated by Ian McFarlane as the Minister for Industry through the advanced manufacturing program, this government is using taxpayers' funds to assist businesses move to a new model. This is particularly important in states like South Australia and Victoria—states that have been traditionally reliant on heavy manufacturing—moving to advanced manufacturing. In South Australia we do that through many means—whether it is food manufacturing, the defence industry. In this case it is Philmac, a very old South Australian company but a very innovative one in the irrigation products such as valves that they create to improve productivity, to save water, to increase efficiencies and to increase profits by reducing the costs to their clients' businesses.

The advanced manufacturing program is $50 million and it is working very well. It goes with a suite of measures that the government is proposing to try and improve the economy and create jobs. I know that some members of the opposition are actually interested in advanced manufacturing, because they come from states like is South Australia and Victoria. It should largely be bipartisan measure, but the economy is starting to turn around in places like South Australia and Victoria. The agricultural sector, for example, is booming in South Australia and we rely on it very heavily; we are increasing food manufacturing. The reduction of the dollar against the United States currency has meant an increase in things like the wine industry. We are moving businesses through things like the Next Generation Manufacturing Investment Programme towards the new economy. Very soon, hopefully by mid-December, we will have released the National Innovation and Science Agenda—a suite of policies, a suite of measures, which will have a very transformative impact on that sector of the economy. It will touch on areas to do with skills, with talents, with science, technology, engineering and maths in schools, and with commercialising research. I note today the G8 supporting the government's move towards research impact measurements for the Australian taxpayers' $1.8 billion commitment in research in universities. It will also cover the raising of capital to remove some of the hurdles that stand in the way of the very businesses that we want to flourish in order to create jobs and growth in Australia.