Six Industries — resources technology and critical minerals, food beverages, medical products, recycling and clean energy, space, and defence — have all been promised a piece of the Australian government’s AU$1.5 billion manufacturing revitalisation package over the next four years, starting in 2021.
“The objective is to build scale and capture income in high value areas of manufacturing where Australia either has established competitive strength or emerging priorities,” Prime Minister Scott Morrison said, during his pre-budget speech at the National Press Club on Thursday.
“This will require our manufacturing sector to be even more productive and highly skilled, to be more collaborative at the leading edge of R&D, commercialisation, and technology adoption, to be more outward-looking, and be searching relentlessly for footholds in global markets.”
Of the AU$1.5 billion, which is the latest pledge by the Morrison government ahead of the federal budget next Tuesday, AU$1.3 billion will be used
Michael McCormack has insisted the government doesn’t want – and there will not be – fewer audits of its activities, despite the auditor general warning he needs more funding or will have to make cuts.
The deputy prime minister and infrastructure minister also walked back his earlier comments that the purchase of land at Western Sydney airport for 10 times its fair value would come to be seen as “a bargain”, after Scott Morrison publicly rejected his assessment.
On Wednesday Guardian Australia revealed budget constraints have resulted in the Australian National Audit Office conducting six audits fewer than its target, prompting the auditor general, Grant Hehir, to write to Morrison pleading for more funding in next week’s budget.
Related: Agency that uncovered sports rorts will be forced to cut back on audits without budget rescue
In 2019-20 the ANAO produced 42 performance