Coalition Pledges To Bolster Advanced Manufacturing Sector in Australia

By Victoria Kelly-Clark
Victoria Kelly-Clark
Victoria Kelly-Clark
Victoria Kelly-Clark is an Australian based reporter who focuses on national politics and the geopolitical environment in the Asia-pacific region, the Middle East and Central Asia.
May 12, 2022 Updated: May 12, 2022

The incumbent centre-right Coalition government will work with business, industry, and the higher education sector to spur the creation of an advanced manufacturing sector in Australia.

“Today, I’m launching our plan for modern manufacturing. A plan for modern manufacturing, which sits together with the work we’re doing in the university sector to ensure that they are playing a key role in seeing our manufacturing sector, particularly here in regional locations like Hunter and the Central Coast and right across the country in regional locations,” Prime Minister Scott Morrison said in an announcement on May 11.

The prime minister said that a high-valued manufacturing sector would boost the economy.

“This is what drives wages to increase, advanced manufacturing applied to technology with some of the smartest minds, our scientific institutions, all working together.

“It’s investing in the people; it’s investing in their ideas, it’s investing in their collaboration and their partnerships, because that’s what turns things around. That’s what creates the opportunity,” he said.

To kickstart the process, the federal government announced a $69 million (US$47.5 million) investment to create a new Sovereign Manufacturing Automation program for the Composites Cooperative Research Centre at the University of New South Wales.

Epoch Times Photo
Manufacturing at a Brisbane factory in Australia, on Jan 25, 2017. (AAP Image/Glenn Hunt)

The initiative comes under the Trailblazer University Program, a $2.3 billion strategy that will provide $362 million to six Australian universities to take their research and try to commercialise it.

Stuart Robert, the minister for workforce and small business, said that each of the Trailblazer projects examined modern manufacturing opportunities to ensure that the “commercialisation is aligned and is solid and distinct and connects that research through to industry.”

The recent announcement from the federal government comes as the centre-left opposition, the Australian Labor Party (ALP), revealed that if it is elected it would invest $100 million into building renewable solar batteries in Gladstone in collaboration with the Queensland government.

“We need a future made in Australia, we need to rebuild manufacturing in Australia. One of the lessons of the COVID pandemic is that we need to be more self-reliant; we need to make more things right here,” the leader of the ALP, Anthony Albanese, said.

Epoch Times Photo
Australian opposition leader Anthony Albanese debates on live television ahead of the federal election at the Nine studio in Sydney, Australia, on May 8, 2022. (Alex Ellinghausen – Pool/Getty Images)

“Now, in Australia, we have the people, we have the skills, and we have the resources to make batteries right here. We have resources like lithium, vanadium, copper, and nickel, but what we do is we send those resources offshore, we see the value-added somewhere else, and then we import it back once the value has been added. It makes far more sense to use those resources and make things here.”

The initiative is part of the ALP’s  plan to invest $15 billion in capital for investment in “job-creating projects through loans, equity and guarantees in resources, agriculture, transport, medical science, defence capability, enabling capabilities and renewables and low emissions technologies.”

Victoria Kelly-Clark is an Australian based reporter who focuses on national politics and the geopolitical environment in the Asia-pacific region, the Middle East and Central Asia.