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Industry settings the best in 30 years.



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MEDIA RELEASE

 

The Hon. John Moore, MP

Minister for Industry, Science & Tourism

 

Tuesday 12 May 1998

121/98

 

 

Industry Settings the Best in 30 Years

 

The Minister for Industry, Science and Tourism, John Moore, said today the 1998-99 Budget confirmed tha t the settings for business in Australia are the best they’ve been for 30 years.

 

The Coalition Government’s economic strategy is working.

 

“We have honoured our commitment to restore the Budget to surplus and that’s good news for Australian industry,” said Mr Moore.

 

“The Government’s strategy is delivering lower business and personal interest rates, and this is supporting business investment.”

 

Mr Moore said the Budget is a clear consolidation of the gains for industry that have been achieved over the past two years. “We have established a strong framework for a forward-looking industry policy.

 

“This Budget confirms the initiatives contained in our $1.26 billion industry policy statement, Investing for Growth . These programmes will now come on-stream from the start of the new financial year.”

 

The Budget also provides for a number of new initiatives across the Industry, Science and Tourism Portfolio, including:

 

* funding of $20 million over four years for the new Automotive Marketing & Development Program ;

 

* more than $58 million over four years for tourism initiatives, including $50 million for the Australian Tourist Commission and $8 million for regional tourism promotion;

 

* an extra $11.5 million over four years for the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS), providing new and refurbished facilities and upgrading their research fleet;

 

* $2 million over two years for the Australian Mapping Initiative , which will improve the quality and reliability of Australian maps, particularly in rural and regional areas;

 

* establishment of the Australian Space Licensing & Safety Office (SLASO) at a cost of $1.9 million over four years; and

 

* $1 million extra funding for consumer education.

 

 

This Budget maintains the Coalition’s drive to boost innovation, e ncourage new investment, and stimulate exports.

 

“We have set the scene for positive industry development well into the next century,” said Mr Moore.

 

The Government’s strategy for industry policy, outlined in Investing for Growth , is focussed on five key elements:

 

* increasing support for innovation;

 

* making investment in Australia more attractive;

 

* helping business capture new export markets;

 

* promoting development of Australia as a major financial centre; and

 

* positioning Australia to capitalise on the benefits of the global information age.

 

Already we are seeing positive outcomes as a result of this strategy:

 

* the Government has already approved the first licence under the new Manufacturing in Bond Program;

 

* arrangements for the modified R&D Start programme are well advanced;

 

Invest Australia , the Government’s new investment promotion agency is established and will be officially launched shortly;

 

* new Action Agendas are progressing for the Passenger Motor Vehicle, Tourism and Information Technology industries;

 

* this year’s Budget also contains measures to implement our commitment to remove tariffs on inputs to the manufacture of information technology-related equipment.

 

The Government has also recently announced the new Automotive Competitiveness and Investment Scheme and is examining arrangements for a new programme to support and encourage investment and innovation in the Textiles, Clothing and Footwear industries.

 

Our initiatives have provided participants in these industries with the confidence and certainty to commit to major new investments that will put them on a more competitive and sustainable footing as we move into the next decade and beyond.

 

This Budget is further evidence of the Government’s strong commitment to provide a secure and prosperous future for Australian industry and Australian jobs.

 

 

Contact:  Chris Wordsworth - Media Adviser - 02 6277 7580 0419 982 482

Fax: 02 6273 4104; E-mail: word@dist.gov.au Web site: http://www.dist.gov.au