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Friday, 26th February 2021
Lisa Palu, Senior Consultant

It was disappointing to read the views of a favourite columnist in The Australian this week who wrote it may be too late to save manufacturing in our country.

On February 23, Judith Sloan opined ‘the likely future is that Australia won’t make much at all, continuing the trend of the past several decades’. After describing the challenges confronting manufacturers and dismissing the valiant efforts of the Morrison Government, Ms Sloan concluded Australia’s future lay in continuing to grow food and fibre, and extract resources, and export them without transformation. 

As for the rest of us, apparently we are destined to spend our working lives as service providers, either making cups of coffee, looking after each other’s kids or elderly relatives, or working in a larger public sector churning out endless memos and reports that nobody reads. Ouch!

Perhaps The Australian needs to spend time with the SAS Group and its manufacturing clients who do not share this bleak view of Australia’s future. These CEOs and their executive teams are looking optimistically at Make it happen, the Australian Government’s Modern Manufacturing Strategy, released in 2020, aimed at revitalising their sector.

They are looking at their own investment plans to capture emerging opportunities, engaging with government for help to remove barriers, and investigating how they can leverage the Government’s $1.5 billion investment in six National Manufacturing Priorities over the next five years.

Minister for Industry, Science and Technology, Hon. Karen Andrews MP is to be congratulated for the mighty job she is doing in a COVID-19 world, taking advantage of national sentiment for Australia to use rapidly developing technology to make more things at home.

The Nationals federally have also swung their weight behind Australian manufacturers. The party’s Manufacturing 2035 – 800,000 New Jobs plan released recently also provides a pathway for manufacturing renewal, particularly in regional Australia.

The executives we work with have been greatly encouraged by the Government’s focus on their sector and the offer of support to help them scale-up, become more competitive, and build more resilient supply chains. We look forward to assisting our manufacturing clients over the next few months as they consider the opportunities that funding under the Modern Manufacturing Initiative (MMI) could open up for them.


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