Intellectual Property

Budget 2009: Funds for textile, clothing and footwear sector

Patrick Stafford /

The Government has announced $401 million for innovation in the textiles, clothing and footwear industries as part of an assistance package in the federal budget.

The funding, which will begin in the 2009-10 fiscal year and carry over until 2015-16, will redirect current funds and add $10 million to existing initiatives.

But the Government has cut or scaled back existing programs within the industry to pay for the new programs, including discontinuing the TCF (textiles, clothing and footwear) Product Diversification Scheme, and scrapping plans for the TCF Supply Chain Opportunities Program.

The package includes $30 million for a TCF Strategic Capability Program, that the Government says will help expand innovation and performance in businesses.

A TCF Industries Innovation Council will be established, and will include members from businesses, unions, government officials and researchers.

The council will be commissioned by the Government to give advice on introducing a voluntary ethical quality mark, voluntary standards for clothing and footwear, and a national database for human figure measurement.

The Government will also establish a Building Innovative Capability Program, to be funded by an additional $25 million.

Other initiatives in the package include the retention of the TCF Small Business Network, the establishing of an innovation network to help industry leaders and researchers connect, and the introduction of previously legislated reductions in tariffs.

The textile, clothing and footwear industries employ over 45,000 workers nation-wide. The Government says the package is designed to support the development of high-tech products.

Many parts of the new assistance package were recommended to the Government in a review of the TCF industries by Professor Roy Green.

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Patrick Stafford

Patrick Stafford is a freelance journalist and a former deputy editor of SmartCompany.

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