Gladstone has been identified as a key location in a new plan aimed at promoting manufacturing job opportunities in regional Australia.
Gladstone has been identified as a key location in a new plan aimed at promoting manufacturing job opportunities in regional Australia.

It's time to manufacture jobs, says Canavan

Gladstone has been identified as a key location in a new plan aimed at promoting manufacturing job opportunities in regional Australia.

The National Party's Backbench Policy Committee released its Manufacturing 2035 plan last Friday.

The plan outlined the National Party's vision for the manufacturing industry and a broad policy platform to help encourage industry growth.

Within the nine-page plan, the committee hoped to establish an Office of Regional Manufacturing in Gladstone and Newcastle.

Chair of the committee Senator Matthew Canavan said radical action must be taken to reverse the trend of less items being made in Australia.

"That means reinvesting in our natural energy resources like coal and gas, protecting Australian jobs from unfair overseas competition and giving greater preference to Australian-made goods in government contracts," Mr Canavan said.

Other policies suggested in the plan include:

• Provide tax concessions and low-cost finance to investments that will boost Australian manufacturing jobs.

• Task the Anti-Dumping Commission to assess subsidies provided by foreign governments and taking countervailing action to protect Australian industry against such unfair competition.

• Introduce a Buy Australian Act that would give preference to Australian-made goods in government contracts.

• Increase trade promotion and harmonising skills across the manufacturing sector.

• Build a new coal-fired power station and exploring for a new oil basin.

• Establish an Office of Regional Manufacturing with offices in Gladstone and Newcastle to promote manufacturing opportunities in regional Australia.

Mr Canavan said COVID exposed the need for Australia to produce again and the Nationals backbench members proposed this plan to help Australia recover from the pandemic.

"Some of the ideas in this paper challenge long-standing commitments to free trade and the removal of industry protection," he said.

"But with rising security challenges in our region we must also recognise the priority to back Australian industrial development."