The Federal Government has announced a $1 billion technology fund as part of its mission to develop new low emissions technology, in a move welcomed by industry peak body, the Victorian Automotive Chamber of Commerce (VACC).
The Low Emissions Technology Commercialisation Fund is part of the government’s overall plan to achieve net zero emissions by 2050.
VACC welcomes the announcement as a positive step. “This fund will help bolster the automotive industry as we transition to a lower emissions future, in particular, by supporting new, innovative automotive businesses,” said VACC CEO, Geoff Gwilym.
On behalf of its 5000 members, the Chamber applauded the government initiative and its commitment to boosting local businesses.
In announcing the plan, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Australia could become a world leader in creating affordable and scalable low-emissions technology. Mr Morrison maintained the fund will back Australian early-stage companies, making venture capital investments, rather than offering grants or loans.
“The fund will help Australians grow their businesses and it will throw support behind our innovators. Both aspects are key ingredients for a thriving economy – something VACC will always support,” said Gwilym.
With a combination of $500 million of new capital for the Clean Energy Finance Corporation and $500 million from the private sector, the government is set to introduce legislation to establish the fund in this term of Parliament. Mr Morrison assured Australians his government’s plan to reach net zero by 2050 is focused on technology, not taxes.
“This fund backs Australian businesses to find new technological solutions,” added Gwilym.
The Prime Minister’s pledge is in line with the government’s electric vehicle stance thus far – insisting motorists have freedom of choice regarding uptake – and ruling out the banning of petrol and diesel cars or using big subsidies to encourage them to make the switch.