How Labor’s $15 billion National Reconstruction Fund is expected to boost manufacturing

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Labor promises a $15 billion National Reconstruction Fund to boost investment in manufacturing, create jobs, grow local capacity and rebuild Australia’s industrial base. 

Now that Labor lead Anthony Albanese has been sworn in as Australia’s 31st Prime Minister, the Labor government is expected to begin delivering on its election promises. Amongst them is a dramatic investment in onshore manufacturing, with a $15 billion National Reconstruction Fund.

Labor describes the National Reconstruction Fund as the first step in Labor’s plan to rebuild Australia’s industrial base.

“The National Reconstruction Fund provides a crucial financing vehicle to specifically drive investment in projects that will build prosperity across the country, broadening our industrial base and boosting regional economic development,” it said on its website.

The $15 billion Fund is expected to provide loans, guarantees and equity to support projects that create secure well-paid jobs, drive regional development, and invest in capability, broadening and diversifying Australia’s economy.

Labor plans to partner with businesses and superannuation funds to unlock further potential private investment of more than $30 billion through the Fund.

Strategies to look out for include supporting new and emerging industries, transitioning existing industries to net zero emissions and better enabling the commercialisation of innovation and technology.

The Fund will be administered by an independent board, operating under a government mandate to drive investment in key sectors. The focus will be on value adding and capability development to leverage Australia’s natural and competitive strengths, including: value add in resources; value add in the agriculture, forestry and fisheries sector; transport; medical science; renewables and low emission technologies; Defence capability, and; enabling capabilities.

The incoming government says the Fund will include $1 billion for investment in advanced manufacturing projects that innovate in transport, defence, resources, agricultural and food processing, medical science, renewables and low emission technologies manufacturing.

Another $1 billion will be earmarked for critical technologies such as quantum computing, artificial intelligence, robotics and software development.

Up to $3 billion will be invested in green metals (steel, alumina and aluminium), clean energy component manufacturing, hydrogen electrolysers and fuel switching, agricultural methane reduction and waste reduction.


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