Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Government forced to listen to textiles industry.

Download PDFDownload PDF

  Australian Labor Party   National ALP   Back

Carmen Lawrence - Government Forced To Listen To Textiles Industry Wednesday, 06 June 2001

Government Forced To Listen To Textiles Industry Carmen Lawrence - Shadow Minister for Industry

Media Statement - 4 June 2001

Shadow Minister for Industry, Innovation and Technology, Dr Carmen Lawrence, today welcomed the Government's announcement to amend the controversial Textiles, Clothing and Footware SIPS grants scheme, stating that this latest backflip by the Howard Government occurred only after consistent pressure from the Labor Opposition and TCF industry leaders.

Earlier this year, the Minister for Industry, Science and Resources, Senator Nick Minchin, said of the scheme that:

…what is important is that the Government does put in place ... mechanisms to provide incentives to companies that are prepared to invest in their own futures to invest in innovation. (AM SHOW -ABC Radio 28/02/01)


A brief examination of the Minister's "mechanisms" demonstrates how ineffective they have been," Dr Lawrence said.

"Earlier this year during Senate Estimates hearings, Department of Industry, Science and Resources officers were asked to clarify some issues about the potential impact of what appear to be eligibility anomalies in the SIPS package.

"In an extraordinary exchange with Labor Senators, Department officers confirmed that firms that were not originally intended to receive TCF SIPS funds may have been eligible for grants on the basis of the loose definition of TCF industries incorporated in the scheme. This created an environment of uncertainty and unacceptable delay for those eligible firms for whom the funds were originally intended.

"After months of intense scrutiny of the scheme by the Australian Labor Party after concerns were raised by the TCF industry, the Government was today forced to announce changes to the scheme - including a more tightly focussed definition of eligible TCF activities.

"It has been the hallmark of the Howard Government to ignore industry policy until it is almost too late -in this case, the Minister has thankfully been forced to move quickly, before the uncertainty in the TCF

sector causes even further company closures and job losses. Authorised by Geoff Walsh, 19 National Circuit, Barton ACT 2600.

Home | Action | News | Policy | People | About