Hi-tech manufacturing jobs to get $800m boost
The tech revolution sweeping businesses as they shift operations online during the pandemic will get an $800 million shot in the arm, while Queensland is set to cash in on an expected boost to cutting-edge manufacturing.
The Courier-Mail understands next Tuesday's Federal Budget will include a boost for hi-tech manufacturing industries including in the resources sector, putting Queensland in the box seat for new jobs.
It is expected the focus will shift from digging minerals out of the ground to how they can be used in advanced manufacturing and ways to value-add with existing industries such as using lithium for hi-tech batteries.
The move will be informed by advice from National COVID-19 Co-ordination Commission manufacturing task-force chair Andrew Liveris who has urged a focus on boosting local capacity for sectors like mining technology, renewable energy, recycling and waste and defence.
It would not look at iron ore or steel, which would not be economical.
Queensland has strong deposits or rare earths and minerals used in smart technology, which puts it in prime position for any emerging advanced manufacturing industries.
Manufacturing will play a significant part in next week's budget, while Prime Minister Scott Morrison is expected to announce the Government's manufacturing strategy - developed with Industry Minister Karen Andrews - within days.
Ms Andrews said the manufacturing sector had done heavy lifting during the pandemic, and would be "our best hope" to turbocharge the economic recovery.
"This crisis has shown that we can't let manufacturing continue to decline and have
our smartest minds and businesses heading offshore," she said.
It comes as Treasurer Josh Frydenberg is set to unveil a nearly $800 million plan to help businesses accelerate their move to online operations, which has led to a decade of change happening in just month.
The plan includes funding for training and developing new systems and infrastructure needed to accelerate the shift while protecting security of operations.
"Enabling businesses to increase their adoption of digital technologies will help our economy recover from COVID-19 and deliver a more productive and competitive economy in the future," Mr Frydenberg said.
Under the plan the government will move to make permanent some of the temporary legal reforms that allowed businesses to hold virtual meetings and execute documents electronically.
Nearly $30 million will go to accelerating 5G use especially in key sectors such as agriculture, mining, manufacturing and logistics.
Other initiatives include more than $250 million to simplify and reduce the costs of interacting with the government online and $25 million to help small businesses go digital.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the plan would provide significant backing to continue the digital push and expand opportunities for businesses to grow and create more jobs.
"The plan supports Australia's economic recovery by removing outdated regulatory barriers, boosting the capability of small businesses and backs the uptake of technology across the economy," he said.
Originally published as Hi-tech manufacturing jobs to get $800m boost