14 September 2011
The Coalition has launched an in-depth review of ‘Industries for Australia’s Future’ while Labor has announced a one day talkfest as a substitute for a real probe into stakeholder views and concerns.
The Leader of the Opposition, the Hon Tony Abbott MP, during his speech to the Committee for Economic Development of Australia on 29 August announced a policy review of ‘Industries for Australia’s Future’. Mr Abbott announced that the review was to be co-chaired by the Hon Ian Macfarlane MP, Shadow Minister for Energy and Resources, and Mrs Sophie Mirabella MP, Shadow Minister for Innovation, Industry and Science.
A key part of the Coalition’s commitment to Australia’s manufacturing industries is our opposition to Labor’s carbon tax. The Coalition rejects the carbon tax in Opposition and will rescind it in government.
Coinciding with Mrs Mirabella’s address to the National Press Club today on ‘Manufacturing matters – an optimistic future’, the co-chairs of the ‘Industries for Australia’s Future’ policy review have announced the terms of reference for the Review.
The policy review will hold roundtables in capital cities, regional centres and additionally will seek written submissions from stakeholders who are unable to attend the roundtables.
The co-chairs will also develop a series of recommendations which they determine as appropriate, practical and cost effective in order to enhance current government policies. The areas of review include: opportunities for productivity improvement and skills upgrades in the manufacturing sector, encouraging growth and development of knowledge intensive industries, minimising sovereign risk, ensuring there is no impediment for local suppliers to tender for large resource projects, removal of red tape plus a wide range of other policy settings targeting mechanisms to enhance Australia’s competitive advantage and stimulating private sector funding.
While the Coalition welcomes wide-ranging ideas and policy proposals on industry, we rule out any re-implementation of tariffs, mandatory quotas for local content and any changes to monetary policy and RBA settings.
As Labor rolls from one policy failure to another, the Coalition is working hard to ensure that the government policy settings provide the best possible support to industry and we are confident that Australian industry can have a vibrant, competitive future.
Terms of Reference for the ‘Industries for Australia’s Future’ Review
The Coalition’s policy review will examine and report upon factors affecting the expansion and contraction of resources and industry sectors under the influence of the mining boom. The Review’s objective will be to inform future Coalition policies aimed at ensuring that Australian manufacturers and miners face a genuinely level playing field against foreign competition.
In the course of undertaking the Review, the co-chairs will:
§ convene and host a series of roundtables with key manufacturers, trade unions and industry groups, including in Canberra, other capital cities and a series of regional centres such as Wollongong, Newcastle, Townsville, Devonport and Geelong; and
§ seek written submissions from other stakeholders who are unable to attend the roundtables.
The co-chairs will also develop a series of recommendations which they determine are appropriate, practical and cost effective in order to enhance current government policies in areas such as:
§ opportunities for productivity improvement in the manufacturing sector;
§ opportunities for skills upgrading in the manufacturing sector;
- identifying policies that will encourage the growth and development of emerging, knowledge-intensive manufacturing industries, in which Australia can sustain a competitive advantage;
- minimising sovereign risk for investors in Australia’s manufacturing and mining industries;
§ ensuring there is no impediment for local suppliers to tender for large resource projects;
§ removal and streamlining of unnecessary or inefficient ‘red tape’ or other burdens which hinder the international competitiveness of Australia’s manufacturing and resource industries;
§ the operation of the Industry Capability Network (ICN), the Enhanced Project Bylaw Scheme (EPBS), Australian Industry Participation (AIP) plans and government procurement processes for industry;
§ the impact of current government policies on the competitive advantage of Australia’s manufacturing and mining industries;
§ R&D and commercialisation programmes that have been abolished and weakened over the past 4 years and their impacts on emerging industries;
- stimulation of private sector funding for industry activity in Australia, including through enhanced venture capital and angel investment; and
- other issues raised by industry.