The Victorian manufacturing sector has been short-changed in the state budget with Labor failing to deliver large scale support to boost the critical sector.
COVID has highlighted the importance of local manufacturing. When international and even local supply chains are cut, Victoria needs the capacity to manufacture goods to meet our local needs.
The Liberal Nationals Back to Work Plan called on Labor to create a $1 billion Bringing Manufacturing Home Fund to restore manufacturing in Victoria.
Victoria is Australia’s manufacturing hub. Our capacity was first developed 80 years ago to meet Australia’s needs in the second world war and then to supply the post-war boom.
Over the last 30 years, Victorian manufacturing capability has been allowed to run down, this has become worse since the shutdown of the car industry.
Victorian manufacturing employment has fallen from a peak of 380,000 to just 280,000.
This budget short changes Victorian manufacturing, providing a dismal $86 million in dedicated funding over four years, well short of the Liberal Nationals plan.
Victorian manufacturers themselves invest around $4.5 billion in new capital every year, so Labor’s so-called ‘support’ represents a boost of just 0.47 per cent.
Comments attributable to Shadow Minister for Innovation, Jobs & Trade, Gordon Rich-Phillips:
“Labor has failed to deliver the $1 billion Bringing Manufacturing Home Fund needed to support Victorian manufacturers.
“More needs to be done to address our state’s job crisis and by investing in bringing manufacturing home to Victoria, we would see thousands of jobs back in our state.
“Instead Labor’s commitment represents a boost to manufacturing investment of just 0.47 per cent and is more about having something to put in a press release than actually growing local manufacturing.”