Bill’s bank a bid for work­ers

The Daily Telegraph (Sydney) - - The Everest - RE­NEE VIELLARIS

A LA­BOR gov­ern­ment would set up a na­tional blue-col­lar bank to keep work­ing-class Aus­tralians’ jobs.

Op­po­si­tion Leader Bill Shorten will to­day un­veil his plans for an Aus­tralian Man­u­fac­tur­ing Fu­ture Fund, should La­bor win the next elec­tion.

The fund would pro­vide con­ces­sional loans to small-to-medium man­u­fac­tur­ers to help them grow their busi­nesses, re­tool their work­force and keep alive a strug­gling in­dus­try at the mercy of au­to­ma­tion, high elec­tric­ity costs and cheaper over­seas wages. The ALP is mak­ing one of its big­gest pitches to at-risk man­u­fac­tur­ing work­ers, in­clud­ing the 263,000 em­ployed in NSW.

Mr Shorten said that the fund was needed be­cause too many man­u­fac­tur­ing busi­nesses could not get loans from tra­di­tional banks.

“This is all about Aus­tralian jobs ... La­bor is back­ing Aussie busi­nesses that make things in Aus­tralia, by Aus­tralians.”

Mr Shorten will out­line the plan at La­bor’s South Aus­tralian state con­fer­ence.

Bill Shorten.

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