A Shorten Labor Government will establish a $1 billion Advanced Manufacturing Future Fund (AMFF) to help innovative Australian manufacturers expand their businesses and create new jobs.
The Advanced Manufacturing Future Fund will support firms that find it difficult to obtain private sources of finance.
Lack of access to finance is a key impediment to the ability of Australian small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to grow and adopt new technologies.
Recent ABS data states that 52 per cent of manufacturers faced barriers to the introduction of new goods, services, processes or methods, and that of these 25 per cent reported a “lack of access to additional funds” as a barrier.
The Abbott-Turnbull-Morrison Liberals gutted Australia’s industry and innovation programs when they came to office, abolishing Industry Innovation Precincts, Commercialisation Australia and Enterprise Connect.
The Liberals goaded Holden and Toyota into leaving Australia, effectively ending the historic Australian automotive production industry and dozens of supporting industries that were part of its supply chain. The Liberals refused to implement adequate transition policies for the workers in both the production plants and supply chain firms.
The Advanced Manufacturing Future Fund will be modelled on Labor’s highly successful Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC).
It will facilitate investment in advanced manufacturing, engineering and design by partnering with private finance to reduce the perceived risk in innovative projects. Reducing that risk will make these projects more attractive to lenders of private capital.
Building on what we know works from the CEFC, the Fund will continue Labor’s work in developing an innovative industry policy for the future.
The Fund will apply commercial rigour when making investments, and will offer financing including, but not limited to, equity, concessional loans and loan guarantees.
A Labor Government would, via the Fund’s board, request that priority be given to transformative investments in the automotive manufacturing and food manufacturing sectors.
We will pay for the Fund by making multinationals pay their fair share of tax and closing tax loopholes used by the top end of town.
The policy has a budget cost of $68 million over the forward estimates.