The Prime Minister has announced $1 billion to boost ``innovation, productivity and competitiveness'', business opportunities and economic growth.
Julia Gillard said the policy - A Plan for Australian Jobs - would focus on securing domestic projects for Australian firms, supporting industry to win new business abroad and help small businesses ``to thrive and grow''.
``Our plan will give Australian firms a fair chance to win work on major resources and infrastructure projects,'' she said in Melbourne this morning.
The plan has three main components:
- Legislation requiring major projects worth at least $500 million to give local industry opportunities to win work on a commercial basis. Projects worth $2 billion or more that apply for concessions under the Enhanced Project By-Law Scheme will have to embed ``Australian Industry Opportunity officers'' within their global supply offices.· Reforms to the anti-dumping system to provide stronger protection for Australian industry against unfair competition from overseas.
- The government said would invest more than $500 million in to establish 10 ``Industry Innovation Precincts'' to drive business innovation and growth in areas of Australian competitive advantage. The first precincts will be manufacturing ares in South East Melbourne and Adelaide and a food precinct headquartered in Melbourne.
- A new $350 million round of the Innovation Investment Fund to stimulate private investment in innovative Australian start-up companies.
Opposition treasury spokesman Joe Hockey told ABC he was cautious of over-regulation.
"Labor believes you can regulate your way to prosperity. Our view is you can't ... innovation that has to come from the workplace," he said.