The Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union (AMWU) has welcomed the Budget Reply’s focus on innovation, advanced manufacturing and the jobs of the future.
“The Opposition Leader’s acknowledgement that Australia’s future doesn’t lie in resources; it lies in research, innovation and advanced, high-tech manufacturing is welcome,” said AMWU National Secretary Paul Bastian.
“To thrive into the new century, Australia needs to be a country that makes things, and we were pleased to see Mr Shorten articulate this exact phrase.
“However the ‘things’ of the future will be focused in high-tech innovation and technological development.
“We are very keen to see the detail, but Mr Shorten was moving in the right direction when he highlighted the importance of support for linking research to industry, and the growth of advanced manufacturing.
“Labor’s promise to spend 3% of GDP on research and development by the end of the next decade is also welcomed. This is a step in the right direction to future proofing our economy, our industries and our jobs.
“Labor’s announced Smart Investment Fund, to invest in early stage and high potential companies, will also help to grow new industries,” said Mr Bastian.
The AMWU has been lobbying for years on the need to transform Australia’s economy into one that focuses on high-tech manufacturing, research and development and innovation.
“The focus was correct, but the speech was light on detail – so we look forward to speaking to Mr Shorten in coming weeks to hear the full plan,” said Mr Bastian.