The future of Australian manufacturing is strong despite job losses caused by the demise of Australian car manufacturing, says Industry Minister Christopher Pyne.
"There isn't doom and gloom in the automotive manufacturing sector ... there are a lot of people who are upbeat about their future," Mr Pyne said during a visit to Melbourne last week.
Mr Pyne was announcing $27.4 million grants as part of the Next Generation Manufacturing Investment Program.
He said the new Trans Pacific Partnership trade pact between Australia and 11 other countries would open new doors for Australian business.
Victorian Industry Minister Lily D'Ambrosio said the closure of Holden, Ford and Toyota in Victoria in 2017 would result in the loss of 40,000 jobs.
"We understand the value of the supply chain, and there are some great synergies and capacity for those advanced manufacturing skills and capability to be used in other areas of the industry," Ms D’Ambrosio said.
Mr Pyne said under the NGMI Program, 11 Victorian businesses will receive a total of $27.4 million to establish or expand their high value manufacturing operations.
Complementary investment by each company will bring the total investment in high value manufacturing in Victoria under the program to $75 million.
The investment would help to stimulate economic activity and increase business competitiveness in Victoria.
“The Government is committed to ensuring a strong and sustainable manufacturing industry in Australia by helping businesses innovate and diversify for the future,” Mr Pyne said.
“This investment will help to attract private investment in the sector, building our advanced manufacturing capabilities.”
Ms D’Ambrosio welcomed the strong response to the program from Victorian businesses.
“It is excellent to see that Victorian manufacturing firms are keen to invest in extending their capability, to remain competitive and reach new markets,” she said.
“The program will encourage the growth of advanced manufacturing operations including in the defence, transportation, pharmaceutical and medical device sectors.
“It will leverage capital investment in precision engineering, robotics and advanced composite materials development, and support businesses to access global supply chains.”
The $60 million NGMI Program is jointly funded by the Australian, Victorian and South Australian Governments.
The program is a key part of the Australian Government’s $155 million Growth Fund, for employees and businesses affected by the closure of automotive manufacturing operations in Victoria and South Australia.
The Victorian Government committed $12 million of the $30 million in funding for Victorian projects. Grants offered to the successful Victorian businesses range from $756,000 to $5 million.
The Victorian grants follow the announcement in August of $28.8 million in grants to assist 15 South Australian companies invest around $73 million in high value manufacturing.