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“A Plan For Australian Jobs” – Gillard Launches Industry And Innovation Statement

The federal government has announced a $1 billion plan to promote jobs and productivity.

The Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, appeared today at the Boeing factory in Melbourne with the Minister for Industry and Innovation, Greg Combet, to launch the plan.


The plan provides for measures to assist Australian companies to win more local work, increase exports and win new business overseas, and support the growth of small to medium Australian businesses.

Statement from Prime Minister Julia Gillard.

The Plan at a glance

Australians expect and deserve well-paid jobs that support their families and look after our communities.

That is why the Australian Government is investing $1 billion to keep Australian jobs safe.

We are introducing changes to help Australian companies that are doing it tough.

As well as giving a boost to companies with high-growth potential.

We want to see local Australian companies get a fair go. That’s why we are also making changes to encourage new businesses in new industries to create new opportunities and new jobs.

We want to make sure that our kids and our kids’ kids have high-skilled, well-paying jobs now and in the future. Our focus is squarely on jobs and growth.

Our economy thrives when we have a strong workforce and profitable innovative businesses.

A Plan for Australian Jobs is a roadmap for creating jobs and lifting productivity.

It is a plan to put Australian businesses and industries on a firmer footing so they are able to take up opportunities to compete globally.

The Australian Government acted quickly to keep the economy strong during the Global Financial Crisis.

While the rest of the world is still recovering, Australia’s economy has continued to grow.

But we can’t stand still. We need to create the jobs of the future.

The strong Australian dollar and an increase in global competitors are hurting many Australian businesses and threatening jobs.

And the world is changing. Economies in Asia, such as China, are growing quickly. Their citizens want high-quality goods and services, which Australian companies can provide.

Innovation is central to the success of our industries and our capacity to respond to the needs of markets in Australia and overseas.

Our vision is for Australia’s innovation system to be ranked in the top 10 globally. This is an ambitious goal, but we have the right framework to achieve it.

A Plan for Australian Jobs provides the necessary support and infrastructure for industry, researchers and governments to work together to transform a good idea into a commercial success.

It’s essential that we have the people with the right training and the right skills to do the work that will set Australia up for a prosperous future.

That’s why we are investing heavily in education and skills and in critical infrastructure like the transport system and the high speed National Broadband Network.

By working together we can build a future where Australia leads the way for the rest of the world.

We can build a stronger, smarter, fairer Australia.

Aussie jobs

We want to see Australians working in well-paying, high-skilled jobs now and in the future.

During the Global Financial Crisis we acted quickly to protect the jobs of Australian workers and we avoided the mass job losses seen in most other advanced economies.

Manufacturing matters

In Australia today, nearly one million people are working in manufacturing.

Nearly a third of goods we exported overseas in 2011–12 were manufactured in Australia.

Our manufacturing industry supports other big Australian industries, like mining, agriculture and construction.

But Australia’s economy is experiencing structural change. There are pressures from the mining boom, the high Australian dollar and intense global competition.

And these pressures put particular pressure on manufacturing.

This new package will help the manufacturing industry get back on its feet, and will make important changes to help local companies compete in the future, keeping Aussie jobs here.

Australia’s ecomony has doubled over the last 20 years. The Australian Government is committed to a stronger, smarter, fairer Australia that will keep growing.

A Plan for Australian Jobs

The Australian Government’s $1 billion plan will:

  • Back Australian companies to win more work at home
  • Support Australian industry to increase exports and win new business overseas
  • Help create new jobs by supporting the growth of small to medium Australian businesses.

Backing Australian companies to win more work at home

How we’ll win work for Aussies

Many Australian businesses find it hard to win work on large projects, like mining and energy developments, even though these projects are right on their doorstep.

Smaller local firms are often outbid by big multinational companies. Larger ventures sometimes don’t know local suppliers are available. Location and capacity can be obstacles.

These are lost opportunities — for businesses and for Australian jobs.

The Government will bring in new laws to support Australian companies, particularly those in manufacturing and construction, to win more work at home.

Any project in Australia worth $500 million or more must include an Australian Industry Participation Plan outlining how local companies will get a fair chance of winning work. Projects will need to show they are taking steps, such as identifying local contractors and suppliers and ensuring these firms have early notice of opportunities, to help Australian businesses win work.

It is estimated that additional new work, worth around $1.6 billion a year, could be won by Australian businesses.

That means a lot of extra jobs for Australians.

We’ll also require big global companies with projects worth $2 billion or more to involve competitive Australian companies in their global supply chains.

A new Australian Industry Participation Authority will be established to help local businesses win more work in our own backyard.

This new authority will oversee Australian Industry Participation Plans.

Protecting Australian products against unfair competition

It is not acceptable for Australian jobs to be jeopardised by products being dumped into Australia — the unfair trade practice where imported goods are sold here at prices below their normal value.

Australia is one of the most active countries in the world at pursuing companies who break the rules and unfairly dump goods in our backyard.

Now the Government will boost these safeguards for Australian industry against unfair competition from overseas.

The Government will:

  • establish a new Anti-Dumping Commission to investigate complaints
  • increase Customs funding for investigations
  • introduce stronger remedies against overseas producers who deliberately flout the rules.

Representing Australian products here and overseas

A new Automotive Supplier Advocate has been appointed to boost sales of Australian-made cars to government and business fleets.

In 2011–12, over 71 per cent of all passenger vehicles purchased by the Australian, Victorian and South Australian governments were made in Australia.

By contrast, Australian-made vehicles made up just 40 per cent for the other states and territories and only 30 per cent for the local government sector as a whole.

Australia’s car industry would be boosted by $240 million a year if all governments matched the Commonwealth’s record in buying local vehicles.

The new advocate is developing an action plan to increase purchases of Australian-made vehicles to these fleets, which in turn will support Australian manufacturing jobs.

The new Automotive Supplier Advocate joins the current network of supplier advocates working to connect local companies to new business opportunities in sectors like resources, rail, steel, information technology, clean technologies, water, textiles, clothing and footwear.

Supporting Australian industry to increase exports and win new business overseas

By bringing together our best research minds and our most innovative businesses, we can create industries that can compete on the world stage.

The Government will establish up to 10 Industry Innovation Precincts that will bring together industry, companies, universities, research institutions and experts in technology and business.

This combination of experience and skills will create new internationally competitive businesses and jobs.

Led by industry, these Precincts will share skills, knowledge and talent.

The Precincts will work to achieve the innovations our businesses need to succeed in the future — turning new ideas and inventions into lucrative Australian products, services and exports.

The goal is to build more medium-sized Australian firms that can compete in world markets and create the jobs of the future.

The first two Precincts will focus on Australia’s manufacturing and food industries. The industry areas covered by these first two Precincts employ around 1.2 million Australians.

Up to eight more Precincts will be selected through a competitive process, with bids led by industry.

The Australian Government will spend more than $500 million establishing Industry Innovation Precincts around Australia.

Helping Australian small to medium businesses grow and create new jobs

By world standards Australia does well in starting up new businesses.

But we need our small businesses to grow, employ more people and compete and thrive in world markets.

Successful businesses need capital to start and grow. That’s why the Australian Government will:

provide $350 million in new funding to stimulate private sector investment in entrepreneurial small to medium-sized businesses

improve tax arrangements to encourage investors to back Australian businesses

introduce a new $27.7 million Enterprise Solutions Program to help small to medium Australian businesses bid for public sector work

expand the services of Enterprise Connect — which provides practical advice to small businesses on how to improve their operations — to cover businesses in information technology, transport, logistics and professional services.

A Plan for Australian Jobs

This is a $1 billion investment in supporting and creating jobs.

By ensuring our companies get fair access to the major projects generated by the mining boom, we will create new local jobs for existing projects.

By establishing Industry Innovation Precincts to bring together industry and the research community, we will win new exports and create the jobs of the future.

And by growing small businesses, we create new mid-size businesses that can prosper in world markets and create more new jobs.

This is how the Australian Government is creating the jobs of tomorrow.

To find out more:

Joint media release from Prime Minister Julia Gillard, Treasurer Wayne Swan and Industry Minister Greg Combet.

A $1 billion investment in boosting Australian innovation, productivity and competitiveness will generate business opportunities and economic growth for the future, as part of the Gillard Government’s plan to support and create jobs.

The Government’s Industry and Innovation Statement, A Plan for Australian Jobs, will back our firms to win more work at home, support industry to win new business abroad and help our small businesses to thrive and grow.

Our plan will give Australian firms a fair chance to win work on major resources and infrastructure projects, improving their opportunities to gain the experience, scale and business connections needed to successfully become part of global supply chains.

It will translate the nation’s research effort into better economic outcomes by promoting collaboration between businesses and research institutions through a major new network of Industry Innovation Precincts.

Small and medium-sized businesses and start-up companies will also be provided with expanded business assistance and better access to finance through measures to further stimulate Australia’s venture capital market.

The Government’s strong economic management during the global financial crisis has provided a solid foundation for businesses, delivering contained inflation, low interest rates, low unemployment, solid growth and strong public finances.

Our industries and workers now face fresh challenges from factors like the high Australian dollar and intense global competition – but there are also tremendous opportunities from the growth of Asian economies.

A Plan for Australian Jobs will help Australian businesses seize the opportunities for growth in our region and adapt successfully to changing economic conditions.

This plan has three core strategies.

Backing Australian industry to win more work at home

  • A new Australian Industry Participation Authority to help businesses build the capabilities and connections to win work on major projects.
  • Legislating Australian Industry Participation (AIP) arrangements, requiring major projects worth $500 million or more to implement AIP Plans to give local industry opportunities to win work on a commercial basis.
  • Requiring projects worth $2 billion or more that apply for concessions under the Enhanced Project By-Law Scheme to embed Australian Industry Opportunity officers within their global supply offices.
  • Reforms to the anti-dumping system to provide stronger protection for Australian industry against unfair competition from overseas.

Supporting Australian industry to win new business abroad

  • The Government will invest more than $500 million in establishing up to 10 Industry Innovation Precincts to drive business innovation and growth in areas of Australian competitive advantage.
  • Precincts will bring firms, research institutions, technology experts and business service providers together to achieve the innovations, connections and scale our businesses need to succeed in the future.
  • A new Industry Innovation Network will allow businesses around Australia, including in regional areas, to take part in Precinct activities, gaining access to knowledge, support, services and partnerships regardless of their location.
  • The first two Precincts will be a Manufacturing Precinct with locations in South East Melbourne and Adelaide and a Food Precinct headquartered in Melbourne.

Helping Australian small and medium businesses to grow and create new jobs

  • A new $350 million round of the Innovation Investment Fund to stimulate private investment in innovative Australian start-up companies.
  • Changes to venture capital tax arrangements to improve clarity and certainty for investors and encourage participation by “angel” syndicates.
  • A new Growth Opportunities and Leadership Development (GOLD) initiative to provide focused support for SMEs with high?growth potential.
  • Extending the successful Enterprise Connect program for SMEs to more manufacturing firms and to new sectors like professional services, information and communication technologies, and transport and logistics, improving the productivity of businesses in key enabling sectors for the broader economy.
  • A new Enterprise Solutions Program to help SMEs develop solutions to public sector needs and become better equipped to win work through public tenders.

Labor’s vision is for a diverse, innovative and competitive Australian economy which delivers well-paid, skilled and rewarding jobs.

Along with the Government’s investments in education and skills, infrastructure, clean energy and the National Broadband Network, A Plan for Australian Jobs will ensure our nation captures the opportunities of the future.

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Malcolm Farnsworth
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