The Gillard Government has laid out a $1 billion investment plan that aims to boost Australian innovation, productivity and competitiveness, with the hope of generating jobs that will fuel economic growth in the future.
In an official media release from the Prime Minister’s website, the press office revealed that the proposal which they called “A Plan for Australian Jobs” will “back our firms to win more work at home, support industry to win new business abroad and help our small businesses to thrive and grow.”
A Plan for Australian Jobs will help local businesses recognize the opportunities for growth which are already available in the region and adapt successfully to the evolving economic climate.
The plan has three core strategies: First, to back Australian industry to win more work at home. Second, to support the Australian industry to win more work abroad. And third, to help Australian small and medium businesses to grow and create new jobs.
Under the first strategy the Australian Industry Participation Authority will help businesses acquire connections to win work in major projects. It will require projects worth $500 million or more to give local industries the chance to participate on a commercial basis, and to implement Australian Industry Participation (AIP) plans. Projects that are worth $2 billion or more will be obliged to apply for concessions under the Enhanced Project By-Law Scheme to put in place Australian Industry Opportunity officers in global offices.
The second core strategy will focus on investing up to $500 million to set up Industry Innovation Precincts that will drive growth where Australia has competitive advantage. The Precincts will gather firms, research institutions, tech experts and business service providers together to achieve success for the future. According to the media release the first two precincts will be a Manufacturing Precinct with locations in South East Melbourne and Adelaide, and a Food Precinct located in Melbourne.
Meanwhile, the plan to help small and medium businesses grow will start with a new $350 million round of Innovation Investment Fund to encourage private investment in start up companies. There will also be a new Growth Opportunities and Leadership Development initiative that will provide support for SME’s with promising potential. An Enterprise Solutions Program will also be launched to assist SME’s in generating answers to public sector needs and help them be better equipped to win work through public tenders.
“Our plan will give Australian firms a fair chance to win work on major resources and infrastructure projects, improving their opportunities to gain the experience, scale and business connections needed to successfully become part of global supply chains,” according to the Press Office of the PM.
“The Government’s strong economic management during the global financial crisis has provided a solid foundation for businesses, delivering contained inflation, low interest rates, low unemployment, solid growth and strong public finances.”
The Government recognizes that while Australian industries are challenged by the high dollar and increasing global competition, there are also plenty of opportunities for growth in Asian economies.
“Along with the Government’s investments in education and skills, infrastructure, clean energy and the National Broadband Network, A Plan for Australian Jobs will ensure our nation captures the opportunities of the future.”
For more details on A Plan for Australian Jobs, check out the full media release here.