[QldGovSpin] McGrady Slams Commonwealth On Lack Of Support For Manufacturing Industry

Submitted by Editor on Sat, 29/05/2004 - 12:11

Minister for State Development and Innovation, Tony McGrady, has criticised the Federal Government saying it must dramatically step up its support for the manufacturing industry.

State Development & Innovation, Tony McGrady

21/05/04

His concern for the industry was highlighted at a joint meeting in Melbourne yesterday of State and Territory Ministers responsible for manufacturing.

"There has been a dramatic decline in export growth for our advanced manufactured goods," Mr McGrady said.

"During the Howard Government years export growth for advanced manufacturing goods has fallen from 14.5% in 1996/97 to 5.3% last financial year."

Federal Minister Ian MacFarlane didn't bother attending this meeting.

"Clearly something has to be done to fix this problem," Mr McGrady said.

He said the Ministers all agreed that a drop in business expenditure on Research and Development was a key factor in this negative slide.

"The Federal Government needs to significantly improve its support for industry Research Development, local content and export growth.

"Tax concessions for Research and Development are needed.

"Encouraging innovation is a key priority of the Beattie Government which has allocated over two billion dollar towards science, research and innovation since 1998.

"Commonwealth incentives encouraging business to undertake R & D are certainly inadequate."

Mr McGrady applauded the Federal Labor Party's new Manufacturing Strategy, announced Wednesday, saying it showed a strong vision of the future for Australian Industry.

"It is great to see Mark Latham supporting the Manufacturing Industry and producing the policies to do this."

"His 10 year manufacturing strategy works to address the current deficiencies.

"I was also very interested in his proposal to establish an Australian Manufacturing Council."

Mr McGrady said the Council would give the Manufacturing Industry a strong national voice.

Those attending the Ministerial Manufacturers' Meeting included the Victorian Minister for Manufacturing and Export (Tim Holding), the South Australian Minister for Industry, Trade and Regional Development (Paul Holloway), Queensland Minister for State Development and Innovation (Tony McGrady), and the New South Wales Minster for Regional Development and Minister for Small Business (David Campbell).

Media Contact: 3224 4600

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