Backing regional industry and delivering secure jobs of the future

The Albanese Government is delivering its plan to create a better future for Australians by investing $111.3 million through targeted grants to stimulate regional manufacturing.

Minister for Industry and Science, Ed Husic, said the Albanese Government is delivering the investments Australians voted for, beginning with rebuilding manufacturing capacity, with targeted support for businesses to ensure Australian workers have secure, well-paid jobs.

“We are delivering on the commitments we took to the Australian people to build a stronger and more resilient future,” Minister Husic said.

“We want to be a country that makes more onshore – and that means backing the businesses that are making things here and supporting manufacturing in regional Australia.”

Our commitments to support manufacturing include:

  • $50 million to upgrade the Nyrstar Hobart zinc smelter in Tasmania.
  • $17.2 million to establish a pilot Food Manufacturing Innovation Hub on the Central Coast of New South Wales.
  • $12.6 million to support Cytiva’s Springfield BioPark project in Ipswich, Queensland.
  • $11.1 million to support upgrades to Ingham’s Sorell poultry facility in Tasmania.
  • $10.1 million to support Flinders University’s Factory of the Future in South Australia.
  • $6.1 million to upgrade the Waverley Wool Mill in Launceston, Tasmania.
  • $2.1 million to support a feasibility study to replace the coal-fired boiler at the Norske Skog Boyer mill in Tasmania.
  • $2.1 million to support an expansion of the Costa Group berry distribution centre in East Devonport, Tasmania.

National Reconstruction Fund

The Government is also working to establish the $15 billion National Reconstruction Fund to diversify and transform Australia’s industry and economy.

The National Reconstruction Fund will deliver targeted co-investments in independently assessed projects across seven priority areas: resources; agriculture, forestry and fisheries; transport; medical science; renewables and low emission technologies; defence capability; and enabling capabilities.

The Government will consult with industry, unions and stakeholders across the country to ensure the National Reconstruction Fund is appropriately designed and targeted to maximise the benefits of this $15 billion investment.

The Budget provides $50 million over two years to establish the framework for the Fund. It is the first in a series of investments to realise the co-investment vehicle that will revitalise industry, provide well-paid secure jobs and deliver for regional Australia.

“The Albanese Government wants our investments to maximise Australia’s natural and competitive strengths and this Budget demonstrates our strong commitment to do that,” Minister Husic said.

“We want to unlock the potential of projects in priority areas to capitalise on great Australian know-how.”

National Rail Plan

The Budget also includes $14.2 million to deliver on Labor’s election commitment to implement a National Rail Manufacturing Plan.

The plan will have oversight from the Assistant Minister for Trade and Manufacturing, Senator Tim Ayres. It will support the rail industry and skilled manufacturing jobs by ensuring more trains are built in Australia.

This includes establishing the Office of National Rail Industry Coordination (ONRIC) in the department. ONRIC will deliver a National Rail Procurement and Manufacturing Strategy, in consultation with state and territory governments and rail industry stakeholders.

The Government will also appoint a Rail Supplier Advocate to help manufacturers identify procurement and export opportunities, and establish a Rail Industry Innovation Council to support the rail manufacturing industry.

Diversity and skills in STEM

The Budget builds on the Government’s mission to widen the pipeline of talent available to the science and technology sectors. It provides $5.8 million for the Women in STEM and Entrepreneurship program plus an independent review into Government programs to ensure they support greater diversity in Australia’s science and technology sectors.

There is also $4.8 million over four years to attract and retain Australia’s quantum tech talent, including support for 20 PhDs and to enable universities to kick-start national collaboration on quantum research and education.

Boost for Questacon, Seafood Labelling and Ethical Clothing

The Budget also includes:

  • $10 million for Enhancing Australia’s Science and Research Leadership in the Asia-Pacific. The funds, over five years, will support the Australian Academy of Science to host the Asia-Pacific regional office of the International Science Council.
  • $10 million to extend Questacon’s national science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) engagement activities through its Science Circus and Engineering is Elementary programs.
  • $1.6 million to work with the seafood and hospitality sectors to develop mandatory Country of Origin Labelling for seafood in hospitality that will help consumers know if the seafood they order is Australian, while minimising costs and compliance burden on businesses.
  • $6.1 million for Ethical Clothing Australia to support an industry-led campaign to help consumers choose ethically sourced Australian textile, clothing and footwear products and to help protect vulnerable workers.