A message from Jens Goennemann

I have been in Canberra a reasonable amount lately. The most recent visit was for the “Developing Advanced Manufacturing in Australia” Inquiry by the House of Representatives’ Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Research.

The first of my meetings with Members of Parliament, who are very interested in manufacturing, was behind closed doors, so that’s where the details of the conversation will stay. Just know that through this opportunity, and through other forums, it continues to give my AMGC colleagues and me quite a sense of purpose to represent and advocate for our 4,000-plus members, as well as those in the broader manufacturing community and whom I encourage to join the movement.

We deliberately invest our resources to consult with the new Government. As always, we continue to listen to manufacturers to put their needs forward, be it through written submissions for the National Battery Strategy, the National Reconstruction Fund, and other major policy undertakings so far this year.

AMGC continues to be a trusted voice for Australian manufacturing as it ‘can’ be – rather than as it ‘was’ – working at the interface between industry and government. We continue to debunk misperceptions when we see them appear, give background briefings, and advocate through media and public appearances.

I’m delighted every time I am in a discussion with a politician, public servant, journalist, or private business that I hear manufacturing described in terms originating from our research and communications material. Progress has been made correcting certain misunderstandings about our industry and more remains to be done. A deeply wired story propagated over 70 years cannot entirely be changed in just seven.

A notable and welcome political change of last month was the passage of the National Reconstruction Fund Corporation Bill 2023.

The National Reconstruction Fund (NRF) can accomplish an incredible amount if properly executed, and the deliberateness and caution the government has moved with is to be applauded.

I am in favour of its potential to de-risk and encourage private investment into Australian manufacturing and for being at arm’s-length from any government of the day.

I will reprise my constructive suggestion that there’s a risk the support from the NRF could be either too small to administer or too big for our many small, yet highly capable companies to properly absorb.

From our front-row seat of helping companies prepare to scale – through co-investments at a level we believe represents a sweet spot – we consider AMGC can serve as an excellent conveyor belt for many of the right kinds of companies into the NRF.

With 141 manufacturing projects either on the go or finished, we have a pretty good idea where our gems are and how to help a manufacturer become one.

In other news, I was interviewed by the fabulous Stephanie Christopher, CEO, of The Executive Connection. You can listen to her podcast on manufacturing right here.

Wishing you a Happy Easter.