Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Invest Australia: $70 million worth of ineffectual duplication?



Download PDFDownload PDF

M E D I A R E L E A S E

Stephen Smith MP Shadow Minister for Industry, Infrastructure and Industrial Relations Member for Perth

106/06 1 November, 2006

INVEST AUSTRALIA - $70 MILLION WORTH OF INEFFECTUAL DUPLICATION?

Department of Industry, Tourism and Resources officials let the cat out of the bag in Senate Estimates today, as they revealed just how redundant the Government’s so called investment attraction agency - Invest Australia - has become.

The officials demonstrated that Invest Australia, which maintains 15 offices in countries around the globe, has a number of key programs which are totally ineffectual, and overseas functions that frequently overlap and mirror the activities of overseas agencies such as Austrade.

The Department’s own officials described,

“…the close nature of [Invest Australia’s] working inter-relationship, particularly with Austrade, it’s very much a complementary relationship…the priorities are very much the same, there’s a lot of commonality in what we do.”

And that,

“…in our overseas posts, we are literally sometimes sitting next to each other”

Speaking in relation to Invest Australia’s key ‘Supported Skills Program’, the Department revealed that no actual staff or money was committed to the scheme because,

“…there are not many applications”

In fact, according to the Department, there were actually no applications for the program last financial year, and only three or four applications in the previous financial year.

In relation to the Government’s ‘Strategic Investment Coordination’ process, aimed at providing incentives for companies looking at investing in Australia, the Department stated that,

“…it is a process which is not very often applied”

This is not surprising, given the ‘Strategic Investment Coordination’ process has been associated with ten projects over ten years, four of which have either been abandoned or withdrawn.

Given these admissions, it is little wonder that the Government still refuses to publish the Allen Consulting report into Invest Australia, completed over a year ago.

Invest Australia is forecast to cost Australian taxpayers more than $70 million over the next three years. It is clear from the Government’s own officials that the functions of Invest Australia can be done better and more efficiently.

Contact: Tom Cameron on (02) 6277 4108 or 0417 147 932