Joint media release with the Prime Minister, the Hon Julia Gillard MP, and the Deputy Prime Minister, the Hon Wayne Swan MP
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.
A Plan for Australian Jobs is available at www.aussiejobs.innovation.gov.au
Media contacts: Mr Combet's office 02 6277 7920
PM's Press Office 02 6277 7744
Mr Swan's office 02 6277 7340