Five prominent industry figures have been picked to drive a national manufacturing revival, exactly three years after car maker Holden left Australia.
Dulux boss Patrick Houlihan and Woodside Energy executive Lauren Stafford have been given three years on the federal science and industry board.
Financial technology guru Scott Farrell, space entrepreneur Alex Grant and agricultural innovator Sarah Nolet have been tapped for two years apiece.
Labor has lamented the fact the appointments come on the three year anniversary of Holden leaving the country.
Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese said the hypocrisy of the federal government knew no bounds.
“That is a tragedy,” he told reporters in Canberra on Tuesday.
“This government, that likes to talk about manufacturing, goaded Holden into leaving.
“And with them, left those jobs and skills, the value-add that happens by having manufacturing in the automotive industry right here in Australia.”
Industry Minister Karen Andrews said the advisory board would help navigate a manufacturing-led recovery from the coronavirus recession.
“It is industry that will chart the course of our recovery and make this strategy stick for generations to come,” she said.
“We know it is industry, not governments, that create jobs, so it’s essential that we have people from industry in these key advisory roles.”
Mr Albanese said the coalition was simply reheating Labor’s 2012 manufacturing strategy.
“A strategy they abandoned when they came to government, which was about the same time as they started saying the car industry should leave Australia,” he said.
“Well, they did leave, and so did the jobs.”