newsCO.com.au–Labor pledges new fund for manufacturing

October 13, 2017

A federal Labor government would invest $1 billion in a new fund to support innovative manufacturing.

Labor leader Bill Shorten will tell the SA Labor state conference in Adelaide on Saturday the Australian Manufacturing Future Fund will help local manufacturers grow, innovate, diversify and develop new opportunities.

“This is all about Australian jobs,” Mr Shorten says.

“While Turnbull and his Liberals give tax handouts to multinationals and millionaires, Labor is backing Aussie businesses that make things in Australia, by Australians.”

It will be modelled on Labor’s successful Clean Energy Finance Corporation, which has made investment commitments of $4.3 billion in projects with a total value of $11 billion in its first four years.

Research has identified a finance gap for innovative small and medium sized businesses in the manufacturing sector.

Example of businesses that could benefit include auto component manufacturers seeking to re-tool or diversify into other industries, food manufacturers investing in new equipment to package new products for Asian export markets and metal fabricators expanding into pre-fabricated housing.

The automotive industry has been especially hard hit by the closure of Holden, Ford and Toyota.

The fund would apply commercial rigour when making investments and offer financing including equity, concessional loans and loan guarantees.

It could partner with the CEFC to invest in energy efficient projects and equipment to reduce a company’s energy bills, or the Export Finance and Insurance Corporation to access new export markets with new products.

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