Abbott’s Blokey Industry Policy Picks Some Winners, Backs Many Losers

Tony Abbott’s new industry policy may seek to ‘pick winners’ but it is still backing many losers and ignores ‘white collar’ and ‘pink collar’ industries, said Deputy Greens Leader and Industry spokesperson, Adam Bandt MP.

“For a Prime Minister who now wants to ‘pick winners’, he’s still backing quite a few losers.

“The Greens strongly support playing to our strengths and our competitive advantages, but for this to work they must be real winners, like medical technology and advanced manufacturing, not just Liberal Party backers from the resources sector.

“This Government squints towards future growth areas like medical technology and advanced manufacturing but can’t tear its backward-looking gaze away from the old ‘dig it up, ship it off’ economy.

“To make the ‘future focussed’ parts of this announcement work, the Government must boost science and maths education and quarantine research and universities from any cuts, otherwise these parts of the plan will wither on the vine.

“Glaringly absent is any commitment to renewable energy, tourism, education, health or the services sectors, which offer huge potential for Australia this century. With some exceptions, it’s a pretty old-school, blokey idea of what counts as industry.

“For Tony Abbott’s ‘winners’ pitch to be credible, he would not be backing coal over renewables, roads over public transport or cutting funding to a prosperity-dynamo like CSIRO.

“Renewables could be a boom industry, instead Tony Abbott is still backing yesterday’s fossil fuels.”

“The corporatisation of the economy, schools and training centres is short-sighted and wrong. It will leave people with skills that might suit a particular employer but won’t build the critical, adaptive faculties that will be the hallmark of successful countries this century.

"Real education is about creating intelligent students who can solve the challenges of the future, not simply heading from school to a particular employer’s office or factory.