Australia Can Do Better on Tech Jobs

Labor Party

An Albanese Labor Government will expand Australia’s critical technology capability, in areas like Artificial Intelligence, robotics and quantum computing.

With waves of emerging technology in recent years, Australian know-how has been recognised for its huge potential – only for the nation to lose its lead because the Morrison Government has dragged its feet in backing local talent and local industry.

From artificial intelligence to blockchain development, we suffered a brain drain as Australians moved overseas to countries that valued their skill. As a result we have lost commercial opportunities and jobs.

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

The application of technology such as AI is sharpening the way businesses operate and supercharging their economies. It’s why countries have developed their own national AI investment programs while Australia lagged woefully behind.

We can’t afford to be left behind as other economies power ahead.

With Australian talent leading the charge on the development of quantum computing and technology, Labor is determined to ensure we don’t lose our national competitive edge through a lack of Morrison Government support and backing.

As interest rates begin to rise and as capital becomes harder to obtain than previous years, we want to make sure that there is a national co-investment fund – working with superannuation and venture capital funds – to back our leading thinkers and their firms.

That’s why we will set up this Critical Technologies Fund to deliver $1 billion in investment support through loans, equity and guarantees for businesses in critical technologies.

The Critical Technologies Fund will be set up within our $15 billion National Reconstruction Fund, designed to rebuild and strengthen Australian industry as we emerge from the pandemic.

The investment will target key areas including quantum computing, artificial intelligence, robotics and software development.

Labor believes we are missing too many opportunities to grow industry and jobs through a failure to back local know-how by the Morrison Government.

Labor believes in a Future Made in Australia – that’s why we have proposed:

  • Our $15 billion National Reconstruction Fund.
  • Our Buy Australia Plan to leverage government procurement to build strategic industry capability.
  • Creating a Startup Year program to create 2,000 new enterprises a year.
  • A commitment to work with industry to deliver 1.2 million tech jobs by 2030.

Quotes attributable to Anthony Albanese:

“Labor knows the value of high-tech jobs, and we are firmly focused on a bigger future for the industry. Thanks to Labor’s $1 billion Critical Technologies Fund, we will boost high-tech manufacturing, and create more Australian jobs.”

Quotes attributable to Richard Marles:

“Labor will bring jobs home and make more things here in Australia. Only Labor will revitalise Australia’s proud manufacturing industry, securing the well-paid jobs of the future for the next generation.”

Quotes attributable to Ed Husic:

“Our $1 billion Critical Technologies Fund is an investment in building strategic industry capability in Australia, powering future economic growth, growing jobs – and avoiding a brain drain that is sapping our country of vital talent.”

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