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Two years of linking Industry and Science to grow the economy and create new jobs

10 September 2015

The Australian Government is continuing to work with the industry and science sectors to generate economic growth and create new jobs by building on the major reforms that have been implemented since the Coalition Government was elected two years ago.

Minister for Industry and Science Ian Macfarlane said that over the last two years the Government has steadily and systematically put in place a new framework for Australian industry and science that is focussed on building our areas of competitive strength, supporting our industries as they transition into new opportunities, building the industries of the future, and making full use of the Government’s investment in research and science.

“The Government’s Industry Innovation and Competitiveness Agenda has set out a new paradigm for industry policy with an emphasis on science to foster innovation and research,” Mr Macfarlane said.

“This Government has been working closely with industry, universities, the research sector and the science community to encourage increased collaboration and to place science at the centre of industry – the engine room of national productivity - in order to take advantage of the transitioning global economy.

“This new global frontier of new challenges, new industries and new jobs is not something that should unnerve us as a nation. Rather it is an opportunity that we should grasp firmly with both hands.”

Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Industry and Science Karen Andrews said that across Government there had been an investment of more than $9.7 billion this year alone on science, research and innovation.

“This is a Government that is serious about science. Over the last two budgets we announced targeted investments of more than $230 million in science including securing the ongoing operation of vital scientific assets like the RV Investigator and promoting science in the community,” Mrs Andrews said.

“We have also consulted widely to develop ways to boost our national science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) capability and are determined to increase the number of students studying STEM subjects in schools and universities, and taking STEM skills into the workforce.

“That’s why we’re investing $12 million to improve the focus on these subjects in primary and secondary schools through the Industry Innovation and Competitiveness Agenda.”

Government achievements in Industry and Science include:

  • An investment of over $2.2 billion into industry programmes over 4 years helping to deliver new jobs
  • A $225 million Industry Growth Centres initiative focussed on lifting competitiveness and productivity in areas of competitive strength, including greater rates of collaboration between industry and science
  • An Entrepreneurs’ Programme with over $100 million invested annually across the country to provide advice and assistance with commercialisation
  • A $50 million Manufacturing Transition Programme to help Australia transition to increasingly high-value, knowledge-intensive manufacturing
  • An Industry Skills Fund which provides $664 million over five years providing more than 250,000 training places and support services across Australia
  • A $155 million Growth Fund which is driving the development of new industries in high growth sectors in South Australia and Victoria
  • New country of origin food labels which will give consumers access to clear, consistent and easy-to-understand food labelling information
  • A new Tasmanian Major Projects Approval Agency to assist investors identify the approvals required for projects worth over $50 million in that State, and funding for the Innovation and Investment Fund
  • A tougher anti-dumping regime that levels the playing field for Australian industry, including  a greater onus on overseas businesses to cooperate and better assistance for Australian businesses
  • The appointment of a new Chairman and new CEO for the CSIRO as the nation’s pre-eminent science agency works with the new Industry Growth Centres, the refocussed CRC Programme and the Entrepreneurs’ Programme to ensure a comprehensive, accessible and effective industry network that delivers outcomes for businesses
  • Exempting emissions intensive trade exposed industries, including steel production, from a renegotiated Renewable Energy Target which is now providing certainty for the sector
  • A $100 million Exploration Development Incentive which is now supporting junior exploration companies to conduct ‘greenfields’ mineral exploration
  • An Energy White Paper which provides a coherent long-term energy policy framework to underpin competition, productivity and investment in the energy sector that will deliver competitive energy
  • A Domestic Gas Strategy which provides the framework for the responsible development of unconventional gas resources, including coal seam gas, shale gas and tight gas based on scientific data
  • The abolition of the carbon tax and mining tax and the removal of more than $2 billion in red and green tape, which is benefiting industry across the country.

“Our Government is building the strong and prosperous economy that we promised the Australian people and our economic plan is working,” Mr Macfarlane said.

“The Australian economy is $68 billion bigger than when the Coalition took office two years ago, with more than 330,000 jobs in that time.

“By continuing to back our strengths and investing in Australia’s future, the Government will work with industry and science to improve our competitiveness and increase our reach into global markets.”

Media contacts:
Minister Macfarlane’s Office 02 6277 7070
Parliamentary Secretary Karen Andrews’ Office 02 6277 4360