Speech at Factory of the Future expansion

Adelaide SA

Thank you very much, John. Hello, everyone. It is tremendous to be here. I have been here many times and I'm under the impression that I'll have to be here - John tells me - at least five or six more times before I get my personalised high-vis. So, I'm working on this with gusto.

It is a pleasure to be here with Louise Miller-Frost, our Federal Member for Boothby and a big manufacturing advocate in the Federal Parliament. But importantly, from all your perspective, a South Australian advocate. And also here with your State asset, the Deputy Premier, Susan Close, who I always enjoy catching up with. But importantly, we share a joint vision that Australia should be a place that makes things both now and into the future, but importantly, that South Australia can drive that – very important in terms of the national vision.

The reason I'm here today is to let you all know that the Albanese Labor government, in its first Budget, we made a commitment in the election that we would invest in the factory of the future to the tune of $10 million. Joining in with the investment of the Malinauskas government that was driven by the Deputy Premier. We will be committing $10 million to make this a reality here in Adelaide and our first Budget will deliver on that commitment. From our perspective, in terms of manufacturing, we need to make sure that we, as I said, are a country that makes things, but particularly in the areas we need the most. And given all the work that's happening in defence, being able to have a Factory of the Future concept like this, that is skilling up workers and making sure that South Australia has the skills that it needs to join up with smart firms like BAE that are doing important work. Very critical. 

Over five years, 500 students will be trained up through here in terms of advanced manufacturing, practice using the latest technology and that technology being used in a way that works with people rather than people being forced to work with the technology. So some very clever thinking being done there. And 200 small and medium enterprises that will have an opportunity to work with the Factory of the Future and to be able to also think about how they can change the way they work to do work longer term. So this is not just an investment in capability here in Adelaide, but looking at what is learned from this. We want to be able to do this in many other parts of the country. Again, we see that manufacturing capability will address some of those things we discovered through the course of the pandemic, when we couldn't get the things that we needed at the times we needed them most. And that forced us to have a rethink about the way we do manufacturing in this country. It's declined too much. We want to bring it back. And the pairing of great skill and technology can help deliver it. 

But importantly, what can help make that happen is when people are working together. So you've got a Federal Labor Government, South Australian Labor Government, working with Flinders University, and particularly, if I may, at this point, give particular kudos – I know a lot of people have been working on this, but John Spoehr has been a very regular contact on my phone following this up, talking this up, and I've seen the work that he has done. And if I can say, South Australia should be very proud to have people like John and the others that are all gathered here today, that are determined, that can have faith in South Australia's ability to do great things. And more broadly, as part of the bigger thing that we need to do as a country, is we need to back our ideas more, have faith in our know how, and in our capability to get things done. So it is very good to work across government, academia and universities and TAFE and also business joined up to do a great thing. So very much looking forward to seeing this grow and potentially for it to take hold across the country. And if I may, I'd love to invite the Deputy Premier up to say a few words as well. Thank you.