Five keys areas to bolster manufacturing in Queensland: CCIQ

Tuesday 22 March, 2016 | By: Darrell Giles | Tags: manufacturing industry, innovation, Cook Medical;

The Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland (CCIQ) has identified five keys areas to bolster the manufacturing sector and the state economy.

In an exclusive research paper released today, Manufacturing Futures Report, CCIQ presents a vision and action plan for politicians and policy-makers on what can be done to create a better environment for one of Queensland’s most important industries.

CCIQ Senior Policy Advisor Kate Whittle said the manufacturing sector was critically important to Queensland’s economy as a source of jobs, exports, investments and innovation.

“It is clear that Queensland is one of Australia’s dynamic economies. The manufacturing sector will no doubt play an important role in diversifying our economy at a time of extraordinary transition,” she said.

“By leveraging the strength of Queensland’s small and medium manufacturers, we can build upon the sector’s success and chart a course for a strong and diversified 21st century economy in Queensland.”

Ms Whittle said CCIQ, through extensive research and consultation with small businesses across Queensland, had identified policy priorities for the future, including:

1.         Grow the advanced manufacturing industry by investing in research, commercialisation, education and training, as well as encouraging collaboration and the adoption of new technology;

2.         Enhance local manufacturers’ capacity to access new and existing markets and opportunities;

3.         Make it easier for Queensland manufacturing businesses to start, grow, invest, and employ:

(a)        Tax reform

(b)        Regulatory reform

(c)        Workplace relations reform

(d)        Affordable and reliable energy supply;

4.         Facilitate an industry perception change and reinvigorate support for local manufacturing; and

5.         Invest in enabling infrastructure.

“Although it is industry that will inevitably drive our economy forward, Government plays an important role in crafting a policy framework that best positions manufacturing businesses in Queensland to capitalise on existing strengths and opportunities and overcome obstacles,” she said.

“The future of manufacturing in Queensland is dependent upon industry and government working together to create the right policy environment to allow the manufacturing sector to flourish in a 21st century economy.”

Ms Whittle said through a partnership with Cook Medical Australia in producing the research document, CCIQ was in a position to take charge of manufacturing industry policy in Queensland to get better outcomes for the small and medium manufacturing businesses.

“CCIQ, through its manufacturing report, has recommended a number of policy solutions to compel governments at all levels to recognise the importance of harnessing the future of the manufacturing industry,” she said.

Key findings:

•         There are 16,388 manufacturing businesses in Queensland

•         Manufacturing directly contributed over $20.3 billion to the Queensland economy (equating to 7.1 per cent) in 2014-15 in industry gross value-added

•         Queensland outperformed the two largest manufacturing states of New South Wales and Victoria

•         Manufacturing is one of the most innovative sectors in Queensland with 79 per cent of business innovating in 2013

•         Manufacturing directly employed 169,700 persons in the December quarter 2015 in Queensland equating to 19.1 per cent of people employed in manufacturing across Australia. As of December 2015, 45 per cent of total manufacturing employment occurred outside the Greater Brisbane area.

Barry Thomas, Director of Asia Pacific Cook Medical and Managing Director of Cook Medical Australia, said the importance of the manufacturing sector warranted more action from a policy perspective.

"Manufacturing may be a key contributor to the economy, but in reality it has the potential to offer much more. Australia has always been an innovative country, but now lacks the ability to compete globally from the manufacturing perspective. Policy doesn't support the commercialisation of local innovations,” he said.

"Far too few advanced manufacturing operations remain in Australia and current policy isn't helping. It's great to work with CCIQ and really focus in on what Queensland can do specifically to support manufacturing here.”


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