This time via The Guardian:
More natural gas, faster project approvals and lower company tax are critical to achieving “economic sovereignty” and a stronger Australian manufacturing sector, according to the industry minister, Karen Andrews.
Andrews will address the National Press Club on Wednesday, calling on governments to streamline project approvals and foreshadowing a role for the National Covid-19 Coordination Commission to develop Australian manufacturing.
The speech comes after employment and education department officials told the Covid-19 Senate inquiry the commission will take on a greater role in skills development as an element of industry policy.
The commission has a broad remit from unclogging supply chains and ensuring adequate supplies of personal protective equipment to job creation policies. The chair, Nev Power, the former Fortescue Metals chief executive, has spruiked projects like a Narrabri fertiliser plant and the role of gas in Australia’s economic recovery.
According to an advanced copy of the speech, Andrews will say that Australia faces a “long road ahead” and one of the markers for success is “to secure our nation’s economic sovereignty by building an even stronger local manufacturing sector”.
Andrews says Australian manufacturers had stepped up in the crisis, and are now expected to produce more than 200m surgical masks in 2020 when previous estimates suggested it would struggle to make 37m.
The industry minister compares the Morrison government to the manufacturing sector, making a virtue of her government’s “practical approach”.
“While scaffolded by a strong belief system and commitment to Australian values, we are not ideologues.”
Andrews says she was “working to change the fate of Australian manufacturing … long before this global pandemic”.
“Long before this virus laid bare our need to secure economic sovereignty, we have been mapping the way forward and working, with a whole of government approach, to create the conditions for Australian manufacturing to grow.”
Andrews says the building blocks for a manufacturing sector are “both complex and deceptively simple”.
These include: cheaper gas and electricity, a highly skilled workforce, reduced red tape, greater collaboration between research and industry, support to commercialise “good ideas”, improved access to export markets and “lower taxes and a stronger economy”.
Talk about bureaucratic bullshit. None of that is new or helpful:
- cheaper gas and electricity laugh out loud;
- the workforce is being dumbed down by international student debasement of the education sector;
- the rest of it is just hot air.
If you want to repatriate Australian manufacturing you have two choices:
- either you go all-in on lifting competitiveness via reduced currency, land, labour, energy, tax and every other input cost (all of which ScoMo is explicitly opposed to), or
- you use selective tariffs on critical supply chains that are not wide enough to lift your currency and become self-defeating.
Scotty from Marketing has taken the third course of pursuing a fake manufacturing renaissance.