A message from Jens Goennemann

Good afternoon, and welcome to AMGC’s last newsletter for 2023.

Instead of recapping the year that was or making predictions for the next, I’d like to share news and thoughts about a report on the Inquiry into Developing Advanced Manufacturing in Australia tabled at the end of November.

The House of Representatives Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Resources got to work this year, following a reference from Minister Husic in February. 

As I shared earlier this year, I was invited to provide my thoughts in person to the committee as part of AMGC’s work representing and advocating for our 4,000-plus network.

It was pleasing to see the influence of our research and advice used across the report’s findings.

The publication notes “a global investment arms race” among nations that understand the importance of manufacturing for its wealth creation, sovereignty, and to capitalise on and enable the energy transition and elsewhere.

There is also a list of 10 recommendations contained in the report, titled Sovereign, Smart, Sustainable.

Rather than dwell on a collection of them, I want to focus on recommendation number one: The establishment of an Office of the National Advanced Manufacturing Commissioner.

This federal-level office’s role will include overseeing and helping to coordinate the spaghetti bowl of policies and programs at the state and federal level. It will act as “a single, high-profile shopfront” for opportunities open at state and federal levels. It would provide a “concierge service to assist small manufacturers, in particular to identify and access suitable opportunities.”

What a splendid idea as we hear regularly of the confusion from manufacturers trying to make sense of things like what assistance they can tap into, finding the front door of research institutes undertaking work relevant to their company, and knowing which government agencies can help with finance and reaching export markets.

“Long-term national policy coordination” is, again, a topic important to our manufacturers, and something with which Australia has struggled. Long-termism, beyond election cycles, matters, as I’ve said before.

Should such a Manufacturing Commissioner’s Office come to fruition, I will end this final message for the year by putting it into your capable hands to consider and to raise your voice which organisation you believe is well suited to run such an office.

Have a great break, and we’ll hear from each other next year.