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Minister Ian Macfarlane


What is the cornerstone of your industry policy?

The National Industry Investment and Competitiveness Agenda to be released later this year will consider economy-wide measures to boost the competitiveness of manufacturing, mechanisms to boost investment, options to encourage innovationand accelerate productivity enhancing infrastructure, and proposals to encourage the growth of small and medium businesses.  

The Government’s priorities for improving industry competitiveness include skills development, better targeted science and research, attracting investment and reducing unnecessary red tape.  Initiatives such as the Entrepreneurs’ Infrastructure Programme and Industry Skills Fund will assist firms to build business capability to boost business productivity and enhance competitiveness across the economy.

What industries do you have high hopes for?

The future lies in building globally competitive, export-focused industries such as advanced manufacturing and services, food and agriculture, education and research and mining exports.

How is the auto industry and it's outlook after all the hubbub?

While challenges remain as the manufacturing sector transitions to take into account the end of automotive manufacturing in Australia,the Government is rolling out the $155 million Growth Fund to assist automotive workers to find new jobs, businesses to find new markets and invest in capital equipment, and to ensure regions can invest in infrastructure projects. A key element of the Growth Fund is a $20 million Automotive Diversification Programme (ADP) which will assist automotive supply chain firms who have the capacity to diversify into non-automotive markets.

Australia has comparative advantage in mining and agriculture...are we doing enough to keep our edge?

The Government is committed to ensuring an efficient regulatory environment that supports the comparative advantage of mining.  This includes reducing regulatoryburdens on industry as well as removing the carbon tax and mining tax.  The Government is also streamlining environmental approvals for resources projects through the establishment of the one-stop shop for approvals. Australian mining equipment, technology and services firms are well placed to provide innovative solutions to the international mining sector.

To boost agriculture’s productivity and profitability, the Government has commissioned a White Paper on Agricultural Competitiveness.  The White Paper will drive the long-term agricultural policies of the Government and ensure Australia’s agriculture sector remains a significant contributor to the economy and local communities. 

Whose industry policies do you admire overseas?

Globally, there is a focus on internationalistion of markets and taking advantage of global opportunities. Australia must also focus on building on our competitive strengths to allow Australian industry to be successful internationally. Australia has the ability to do so, and the Government will work to put in place the right supporting environment.


What incubator industries do you favour?

Independent economic analysis has identified a number of high growth sectors across the Australian economy. Within the Industry Portfolio these are: food and agribusiness; mining equipment, technology and services; medical technologies and pharmaceuticals; oil, gas and energy; and advanced manufacturing.

This seems a terrible parliament to many with the senate a minority mess...can it get better

The Coalition Government is purposefully, methodically working to fix Labor’s mess.  The Government is working in an orderly and methodical way to ensure the passage of legislation through the Parliament. The Coalition didn’t cause the problem but we’re taking responsibility for fixing it.  Negotiating legislation through the Senate is situation normal for a Government, and the Abbott Government will continue to work in good faith with the crossbench. However, there should be no doubt about the Government’s determination to follow through on our agenda and keep faith with the Australian people on our fundamental pledge to fix Labor’s budget mess.


Government Australia Advisory Board

Simon Crean MP

John Brumby 

Kristina Keneally

Mark Vaile

Nick Greiner

Alexander Downer

Peter Charlton

Trevor Rowe

Warwick Smith


Bob Carr