South East push for Future Made in Australia

GSEM chair Simon McKeon at a recent jobs and skills forum at Bunjil Place. 403587_14 Picture: STEWART CHAMBERS

By Cam Lucadou-Wells

Advocacy group Greater South East Melbourne (GSEM) urged for the region to feature heavily in the $22.7 billion Future Made in Australia package.

“South East Melbourne is a diverse region that is well placed to play a major role in Future Made in Australia, with world leading universities, innovation centres and manufacturers all together in one place,” GSEM chair Simon McKeon said.

“GSEM already effectively brings the public, private and education sectors together in partnership.

“We want to work with the federal government to make the Future Made in Australia vision a success.”

McKeon also welcomed the Government’s cost of living relief, help for renters and increased housing support and investment.

Other highlights were $437.3 million for suburban road upgrades in Melbourne’s South East and North, as well as skills and training in priority industries and to support women’s participation.

“Jobs and skills remain priority issues for our region.”

According to the Federal Government, the Future Made in Australia initiative will drive new industries and technologies towards a clean, net-zero economy.

It includes a $1.7 billion Future Made in Australia Innovation Fund for “innovative technologies“ and priority industries, including green metals and low carbon liquid fuels.

South East Melbourne Manufacturers Alliance warned that the Future Made in Australia package could be “dragged under” by “unjustified, crippling” state land tax rises and Workcover premium increases.

“SEMMA believes that there is little in the Federal and State Budgets for SMEs.

“While no new taxes for business in Victoria is welcome, businesses are still seeking respite from recent land tax, payroll and WorkCover premiums rises.

“Federally, the Future Made in Australia Fund offers little for SMEs.

“Grass-roots manufacturers are seeking real financial assistance for the transition to net zero.

“SEMMA is concerned Federal Labor has predicted deficits from next year onwards and that this is a pre-election budget that attempts to give something to everyone, some less deserving than others.“