Remarks at Quickstep Technologies, Geelong, Victoria


…This client here is an example of the future of manufacturing in Australia. Advanced manufacturing founded on innovation, founded on technology. That is where the jobs will come from in the future, more competitive, bigger global markets, addressing them with innovation and science. The collaboration between these companies and Deakin is another example of part of our economic plan for jobs and growth right across Australia.

Now here in Geelong, this company has been the beneficiary of a grant under the Geelong Regional Innovation and Investment Fund, the GRIIF. What we are doing and announcing today is another fund, a Geelong Jobs and Investment Package which will apply to Geelong and the Victorian Surf Coast, of $20 million dollars and Corangamite, that’s right, right across Geelong, the Victorian Surf Coast and Sarah’s electorate of Corangamite. But right across the board here, in this region, that is the focus of this fund. It will enable firms and local government, community, to apply for grants. The aim is to secure the leverage that we got under the GRIIF, where we got five times leverage, that is to say we were putting money in and it was being backed by business, by community, sometimes by local government, in order to leverage it up, to provide stronger growth and more jobs here.

This is a classic example of how you can grow though innovation and investment in the jobs we need here in Geelong. Geelong has had a tough time in terms of the transition from traditional industries that have been challenged by the changes in the global economy to new industries. But you can see successful transitions here. We saw it recently at Carbon Revolution, we’re seeing it here again at Quickstep. This is the future, advanced manufacturing, science, technology, innovation. These are all elements in our economic plan.

I want to also announce today in addition to that, that we will be providing a million dollars towards finalising the business case for the duplication of the rail line from South Geelong towards Ponds. A vitally important extension. That money will set out, help set out, the business case that will then attract the investment in order to complete that duplication. Finally I should say, with respect to Avalon Airport that I see here, we are going to remove the regulatory restrictions that prevent you operating as an international airport.

So you’ll have the ability to have international services to Avalon as you should. This is an important airport, an important regional airport. It’s an important airport close to Geelong and also very close to Melbourne. So it is vital that it has access to international flights as well. So we’re delighted to be announcing that and backing once again, regional growth and jobs here in Geelong.

Thank you very much Sarah for organising this today. Your advocacy for Corangamite, your advocacy for your communities in Geelong is formidable as we just heard from you. You are a powerful and eloquent advocate and the community knows that you can put their case in Canberra and do so effectively and powerfully as you do in your service as the Member for Corangamite, which I encourage all of the electors of Corangamite to ensure that you’re returned as the Member, because we need to ensure that we have the continuation of stable Coalition Government delivering a clear economic plan for Geelong and right across Australia.

A clear economic plan that will deliver jobs and growth, taking advantage of the big opportunities in the global economy; the exports that you’re taking advantage of Tony and David. The exports that Carbon Revolution is taking advantage of, the international opportunities that the Avalon Airport will take advantage of. That needs a clear economic plan. We have it and we need to be returned on the 2nd of July to deliver it.

Thank you all very much and congratulations to all of the team here at Quickstep and all of the great examples of enterprise in this community that are gathered here today. Thank you very much.