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Labor's plan for innovation in manufacturing.

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Kim Beazley, Carmen Lawrence - Labor's Plan For Innovation In Manufacturing Thursday, 01 November 2001

ALP News Statements

Labor's Plan For Innovation In Manufacturing Kim Beazley, Leader of the Opposition, and Carmen Lawrence, Shadow Minister for Industry, Innovation and Technology

Joint Media Statement - 31 October 2001

The manufacturing sector makes a significant contribution to our GDP and total employment, and is crucial to enabling other sectors of the economy to develop and export products.

It is for this reason that the manufacturing sector is so central to the Knowledge Nation Plan announced today.

Manufacturing is rapidly being transformed by innovative technologies and techniques in economies all around the world. The Federal Government has a key role in leading our nation through the challenges posed by these changes, and in ensuring the development and maintenance of the knowledge and skills base required for Australia to effectively compete.

A Labor Government will work in partnership with industry players and unions to ensure that industry policy is well designed and targeted, and encourages innovation in critical sectors such as manufacturing.

Australia cannot afford to be left behind - we need urgent action to generate high wage, high skilled and secure jobs for our people.

It is essential that Australia participates in new manufacturing opportunities on our own terms, not on terms forced on us by others through the complacency and inaction of the Howard Government.

National Planning Process

A Labor Government will establish a national foresight process to identify Australia's priority areas.

In a process that parallels similar national planning exercises in Germany, France, the UK, the Netherlands and New Zealand, a series of expert panels will be established to advise the Government.

The panels will be drawn from all industry sectors and will include scientists, researchers, policy makers, industry leaders, professional bodies and trade unions, and will identify the areas of strategic research

and emerging technologies that represent the greatest potential economic and social benefit to Australia.

These panels will guide priority-setting for investment in research and development and the critical decisions needed to convert this investment into economic growth.

Institute of Manufacturing

Labor will invest $8.4 million over five years to establish an Institute of Manufacturing to develop innovative education programs and conduct collaborative research with industry into manufacturing technologies, practices and processes.

The Institute will support the development of an integrated approach to manufacturing, embracing marketing, design, production, distribution and services.

Among other priorities, the Institute will:

conduct innovative education programs to increase the number of highly skilled people employed in manufacturing; ●

undertake collaborative research with industry to influence a shift towards greater technological development and transferral, and high value added manufacturing activity; and ●

enhance the public profile of manufacturing through targeted networking and dissemination of information. ●

National Industry Development Accord

Labor will work with State and Territory Governments through COAG to develop a National Industry Development Accord. This will allow governments to:

evaluate the effectiveness of existing industry assistance programs; ● develop agreed processes for targeting, monitoring and evaluating such programs in terms of their net social and economic benefits; and ●

develop national protocols and enforceable agreements to prevent bidding wars and ensure transparency and accountability for any assistance provided. ●

The Accord will include agreements on:

full disclosure of subsidies provided; ● agreed criteria for awarding subsidies, including the generation of net increases in employment and investment and continued operation for an agreed period; and ●

a requirement that subsidy agreements with firms include regular reports on agreed outcomes. ●

Authorised by Geoff Walsh, 19 National Circuit, Barton ACT 2600.