A message from Jens Goennemann
Australia is, and must remain, a globally connected economy. A country with a domestic market of just 25 million people needs to be a player on the global stage with over 7 billion potential customers.
While COVID-19 exposed gaps in our local manufacturing industry, complete self-sufficiency is not the answer. There are many things that Australia cannot and should not make. Instead, we must focus on our areas of comparative and competitive advantage and compete on value—not on cost—within these areas.
We must focus on sectors of national strength such as mining, minerals processing, food and agriculture, pharmaceuticals, med- and biotech, defence, space and energy. Any suggestion of “picking winners” is highly misleading. In most of these sectors there is nothing to pick since we are already winners. It would be foolish to not build on our strength.
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, we have witnessed an impressive response from Australian manufacturers. Australian manufacturers have come together and collaborated—in some cases assembling a supply chain and commencing manufacture within a matter of days.
Since we launched the Manufacturer Response Register in late March over 2,500 manufacturers have registered and are using the platform to match supply with demand. Collaboration is valuable in the best of times, but it took the COVID-19 crisis to remind us how essential collaboration is to a resilient manufacturing industry.
As restrictions are eased throughout Australia and more employees return to the workplace, Australian manufacturers must continue to work together to keep COVID-19 numbers low, workers safe, and businesses productive.
To help manufacturers return to full capacity as quickly as possible, we’ve compiled a range of resources in this month’s Better Together column on government funding and support, workplace health and safety tips, and business continuity planning. In Industry News, we focus on the Federal Government’s increased Instant Asset Write-Off threshold, which is set to end on 30 June 2020. If you are considering investing in equipment, vehicles, or anything else, now might be the time to do so.