I’m not sure what the Shadow Industry Spokesperson Sophie Mirabella was thinking in her strangely titled National Press Club address . The speech was entitled “Manufacturing Matters: an Optimistic Future”.
It was a rambling rant and devoid of detail Here are some of the ideas she put forward:
• She called for more collaboration between researchers and industry – but called for the abolition of the Industry Innovation Councils that are building those networks today.
• She praised the massive greenhouse gas reductions achieved by manufacturers in recent years – but claimed manufacturing had no place in a clean energy future.
• She attacked Labor’s wasteful spending – but she wouldn’t identify any of the cuts an Abbott government would have to make in the Innovation Portfolio to fill their $70 billion black hole. It seems they’ll get back to us with the details – after the next election.
• She pointed to the fuel-efficient cars now being built by Australian manufacturers – but attacked the New Car Plan for a Greener Future which made them possible. That’s the Plan they plan to cut by $500 million – as a start.
I can’t imagine Ms Mirabella holding on to her portfolio for long, and the manufacturing industries in Australia will be hoping that’s the case.