National Reconstruction Fund

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Updated:

Monday, 15th November 2021

National Reconstruction Fund

The $15 billion National Reconstruction Fund will support projects that create secure well-paid jobs, drive regional development, and invest in our national sovereign capability, broadening and diversifying Australia’s economy.

The National Reconstruction Fund is the first step in Labor’s plan to rebuild Australia’s industrial base.

Australia has suffered nearly a decade of policy drift since the Liberals goaded the car industry to leave. We rank dead last in the OECD when it comes to manufacturing self-sufficiency.

We need to revive our ability to make world-class products and, in the process, create secure well-paid jobs for Australians.

The National Reconstruction Fund provides a crucial financing vehicle to specifically drive investment in projects that will build prosperity across the country, broadening our industrial base and boosting regional economic development.

The $15 billion in capital provided through the National Reconstruction Fund will support projects that create secure well-paid jobs, drive regional development, and invest in our national sovereign capability, broadening and diversifying Australia’s economy.

Through the National Reconstruction Fund, Labor will partner with businesses to unlock further potential private investment of more than $30 billion.

This investment will play to our strengths supporting new and emerging industries, transitioning existing industries to net zero emissions and by making it easier to commercialise innovation and technology.

The National Reconstruction Fund will be legislated to demonstrate our commitment to delivering a $15 billion capital injection into Australia’s prosperity giving business certainty for the life of projects.

The mission of the National Reconstruction Fund is to:

  • create secure well-paid jobs
  • build on our national strengths
  • diversify Australia’s industrial base
  • develop our national sovereign capability
  • drive regional economic diversification and development

The National Reconstruction Fund will be administered by an independent board with government setting its mandate to drive investment in key sectors focusing on value adding and capability development to leverage Australia’s natural and competitive strengths including:

  • Value add in resources: Expand our mining science technology, ensure a greater share of the raw materials we extract are processed here, for example, high purity alumina from red mud in bauxite processing or lithium processing for batteries.
  • Value add in the agriculture, forestry and fisheries sectors: Ensure we unlock potential and value add to our raw materials in sectors like food processing, and textiles, clothing and footwear manufacturing.
  • Transport: Develop our capabilities in transport manufacturing and supply chains including for cars, trains and shipbuilding.
  • Medical science: Fulfil our potential, given our world leading research, in providing essential supplies such as medical devices, and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), medicines and vaccines.
  • Renewables and low emission technologies: Pursue commercial opportunities including from; components for wind turbines; production of batteries and solar panels; new livestock feed to reducing methane emissions; modernising steel and aluminium; hydrogen electrolysers, and innovative packaging solutions for waste reduction.
  • Defence capability: Maximise our requirements being sourced from Australian suppliers employing Australian workers, whether they be technology, infrastructure or skills, complimenting Labor’s Defence Industry Development Strategy.
  • Enabling capabilities: Support key enabling capabilities across engineering, data science, software development including FinTech, EdTech, AI and robotics.

National reconstruction must include a focus on regional development. Ensuring our regions are able to sustain secure well-paid jobs and building are broader industrial base in key areas is a focus of the National Reconstruction Fund.

Labor’s national reconstruction agenda will include wide-ranging consultation with communities, businesses and unions on how we build a more prosperous Australia.

Projects eligible for the National Reconstruction Fund will also benefit from Labor’s National Rail Manufacturing Plan, the Defence Industry Development Strategy and Rewiring the Nation which prioritise domestic procurement.

In accordance with Labor’s Secure Australian Jobs Plan, the Fund will only enter into financial arrangements with businesses and organisations that are providers of secure jobs.

Resources & Mining Science

Value adding in the resources sector offers opportunities to expand our mining science technology, ensure a greater share of the raw materials we extract are processed here, for example, high purity alumina from red mud in bauxite processing or lithium processing for batteries.

Australian resources and energy exports are projected to reach nearly $300 billion in 2020-21 but most of these resources are processed overseas.

Exports of lithium are projected to increase five-fold by 2025-26 but Australia will not be processing lithium or value-adding lithium products at significant scale if we do not act.

Agriculture, Forestry & Fisheries

The National Reconstruction Fund will support value adding in the agriculture, forestry and fisheries sectors, as well as associated processing and manufacturing.

Increased value adding in the agriculture, forestry and fisheries sectors ensures we unlock the potential of our raw materials in food processing, textiles, clothing and footwear and pulp and paper.

Food and grocery businesses alone are Australia’s largest manufacturing employer, representing 32 per cent of all jobs. The sector is also one of the biggest employers in the country, providing more than 273,300 jobs, of which 39.3 per cent – just over 107,000 – are in regional and rural communities.

Transport

The National Reconstruction Fund will support value-adding in transport to develop our capabilities in transport supply chains, including cars, trains, trams and shipbuilding.

Automotive manufacturing has declined as a proportion of overall employment from 1.8 per cent of total employment in 1985 to 0.4 per cent of all employment in 2021.

At the time the Morrison Government allowed the car industry to collapse around, 11,350 people were employed directly by the three car manufacturers, Holden, Ford and Toyota and approximately 50,000 people were also employed in manufacturing in other parts of the supply chain. 

Medical Science

The National Reconstruction Fund will support investment in medical science to fulfil our potential, given our world leading research, in providing:

  • essential supplies such as medical devices and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
  • medicine
  • vaccines

Australia’s pharmaceutical sector and medical apparatus sector each account for less than 1 per cent of global exports compared to Germany with 16.5 per cent and 12.7 per cent respectively.

A recent industry report says MedTech could add $18 billion to the Australian economy and about 28,000 new jobs within eight years. 

Renewables & Low Emission Technologies

The National Reconstruction Fund will support investment in renewables and low emissions technologies so we can pursue commercial opportunities, including manufacturing components for wind turbines; production of batteries and solar panels; new livestock feed to reduce methane; modernising steel and aluminium production; hydrogen electrolysers, and innovative packaging solutions for waste reduction.

The CSIRO predicts the hydrogen industry alone could account for 7,600 jobs and $11 billion in additional GDP by 2050. Heavy industries moving to carbon neutral processes like green hydrogen-manufactured steel could also create 92,000 new jobs over the next decade.

Australia could create as many as 400,000 new jobs by targeting industry support towards zero and low emissions manufacturing, including renewable energy and battery storage production. 

Defence Capability

The National Reconstruction Fund will support investment in defence capability to maximise our requirements being sourced from Australian suppliers employing Australian workers, whether they be technology, infrastructure or skills, complimenting Labor’s Defence Industry Development Strategy.

Between 2016 and 2020, only 0.4 per cent of the Australian government’s defence spend was on research and development, Labor knows this is not enough. The National Reconstruction Fund will enable Australian manufacturing to benefit from the Defence Industry Development Strategy, leveraging Australia's $270 billion defence acquisition program.

Enabling Capabilities

The National Reconstruction Fund will support investment in key enabling capabilities across engineering, data science, software development including FinTech, EdTech, AI and robotics.

Australian investment in high-tech manufacturing has been stagnant at less than 0.5 per cent of GDP under the Morrison Government.

The Regions

National reconstruction must include a focus on regional development.

Ensuring our regions are able to sustain secure well-paid jobs and building a broader industrial base in key areas is a focus of the National Reconstruction Fund. 

Read more about Labor's policies.

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Electorate Office

334a Marrickville Road
MARRICKVILLE NSW 2204

Phone: (02) 9564 3588
Fax: (02) 9564 1734
Email: A.Albanese.MP@aph.gov.au

Parliament House Office

PO Box 6022
CANBERRA ACT 2600

Phone: (02) 6277 4022
Fax: (02) 6277 8562

Phone: (02) 9564 3588
Fax: (02) 9564 1734
Email: A.Albanese.MP@aph.gov.au

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