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Review of offsets policy

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Date 16 April 1980

Minister for Productivity

Media Release Number 80/14


Statement by the Minister for Productivity, Mr Kevin Newman

Following a recent review by the Government of its offsets policy all Commonwealth Government departments and authorities will be directed to continue to apply the policy to the greatest possible extent.

The Minister for Productivity, Mr Kevin Newman, said today that since 1970, when the policy was formally introduced, .offsets to the value of $348m had been secured by Australian industry.

The principal objective of the policy, as originally adopted and reaffirmed by the Government in 1976, is to narrow the gap in industrial technology and efficiency between Australian manufacturing industries and those of highly developed countries.

The Minister added:

"In pursuing this objective, offsetting orders are sought from, overseas suppliers of major equipment purchased directly by the Government, or purchased with Government guaranteed funds. A policy requirement has always been that offsets orders should encourage the development and maintenance of advanced technologies

in Australian industry.

"A concomitant but not a paramount objective has been to offset as much as possible large expenditures of funds overseas on purchases of equipment which for one reason or another cannot be manufactured in Australia".

Mr Newman said about $311m of the total offsets generated by the program since 1970 was for direct orders placed with Australian manufacturers. The balance includes allowances for the transfer of technology and the cost of some materials and facilities

necessary for the work being performed but not available in Australia. ,


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The Government had concluded, on the basis of the results, that the offsets program had been of considerable value in improving Australian industrial technology and capability. Therefore, official policy would continue to seek offsets of technological

significance as a means of enhancing Australia's industrial base.

For further information contact:

Roy Muir Minister's Office (062) 73 3233

Win Munday Department of Productivity (062) 48 2809