The Coalition views Australia’s ‘economic sovereignty’ with a push for manufacturing Business | Instant News


More natural gas, faster project approvals and lower corporate taxes are crucial to achieving “economic sovereignty” and a stronger Australian manufacturing sector, according to industry minister, Karen Andrews.

Andrews will address the National Press Club on Wednesday, calling on the government to streamline project approvals and signal the role of the 19th National Coordinating Commission to develop Australian manufacturing.

The speech came after job and education department officials told the Covid-19 Senate inquiry that the commission would take a greater role in skills development as an element of industrial policy.

The Commission has broad powers of freezing the supply chain and ensuring the supply of adequate personal protection equipment for employment creation policies. Chair, Nev Power, former chief executive of Fortescue Metals, owns spruiked projects such as the Narrabri fertilizer plant and the role of gas in the recovery of the Australian economy.

According to a copy of the follow-up speech, Andrews will say that Australia faces a “long road ahead” and one of the markers of success is “to secure our country’s economic sovereignty by building a stronger local manufacturing sector”.

Andrews said Australian manufacturers had escalated the crisis, and were now expected to produce more than 200 million surgical masks by 2020 when previous estimates suggested they would struggle to make 37 million.

The industry minister compared the Morrison government with the manufacturing sector, making the virtues of his government’s “practical approach”.

“Although it is based on a strong belief system and commitment to Australian values, we are not ideologists.”

Andrews said he “worked to change the fate of Australian manufacturing … long before this global pandemic”.

“Long before this virus revealed our need to secure economic sovereignty, we had mapped the way forward and worked, with the entire government approach, to create conditions for Australian manufacturing to grow.”

Andrews said the building blocks for the manufacturing sector were “complex and seemingly simple”.








Industry Minister Karen Andrews will address the National Press Club on Wednesday and signal a push for a stronger Australian manufacturing sector. Photo: Joel Carrett / AAP

These include: cheaper gas and electricity, highly skilled labor, reduced bureaucracy, greater collaboration between research and industry, support for commercializing “good ideas”, increased access to export markets and “lower taxes and a lower economy stronger”.

“One other area that I believe is very important is to simplify the bureaucracy and regulations for fast-track interaction with all levels of government.

“That’s probably the biggest positive impact we can make without further requests for taxpayer support.”

Andrews said it was “not good enough” that – according to Manufacturing Australia – a factory could be approved and built in the US in a shorter time than could be approved in Australia.

“I see a large role for the government in streamlining these processes and facilitating approval or enhancement of new projects.”

The government must “facilitate rather than over-regulate,” Andrews said, suggesting that the national cabinet process can help “reduce the obstacles that businesses face when they want to invest”.

The Minister proposes harmonizing government programs, so that the government does not “duplicate” or compete with each other to attract industry, wasting taxpayers’ funds.

Andrews said the government would not nationalize the industry or propose government ownership, but cited a $ 215 million manufacturing modernization fund as a step to “support businesses that support themselves”.

Andrews said Australia should focus on areas of comparative advantage including mining and agriculture technology, mineral processing, food and beverage manufacturing and “national priority areas” including medicine, medical technology, defense, energy, space, waste, and recycling.

Andrews said the Covid commission was “feeding into my department’s hard work and I have worked for the past 18 months”.

On Monday Jane Halton, a commissioner from the Covid commission, said that the agency would “shift our focus to what will actually get our economy started”.

“What we want to see is an increase in productivity in our economy,” he said. “And we will work with the government about some of these ideas.”

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