The Australian Advanced Manufacturing Council has commended the Government’s decision to fund the Western Sydney airport and a $10 billion national rail program, as well as yesterday’s announced commitment to future skills development.
“These measures are all about our national competitiveness,” AAMC chairman, Mr John Pollaers, said today.
“A Western Sydney airport will be a magnet for economic growth. I commend the Government for the courage and foresight to ensure that it happens.
“A truly major airport, on an international scale, with the proposed surrounding industrial and university precincts, will provide a much-needed decentralised hub for manufacturing for the future,” he said.
“The Inland rail and other rail initiatives will increase industry efficiencies and competitiveness and ensure we are less dependent on road freight – which tears up expensive roads and chokes our highways.
“We would urge the Government to plan for important technology developments like the Hyperloop, and for self-driving mobility, while they are evolving these infrastructure programs,” Mr Pollaers said.
“New airports and rail corridors are the perfect greenfield to build these things in – a way to put Australian infrastructure at the forefront in the world.”
It’s all about skills and education
“At the same time, the strong focus on skills development in the 2017-18 Budget is a measure of clear-headed foresight and appreciation of the need to build our competitive edge,” Mr Pollaers said.
“Unless we have a strong underpinning of 21st Century skills and education, we will not attract the much-needed international investments.
“The biggest thing companies are looking for is the right talent. The key factor that will lead Australia into a diversified sustainable economic future is skills.
“Other countries are doing similar things to Australia, but not all of them have the skills needed,” he said.
“The Government’s investment of $1.5 billion over four years from 2017-18 to establish a permanent Skilling Australians Fund to support the skilling of Australian workers, is an enormously important and critical measure.”
“We were very encouraged to see the focus on high value manufacturing in the announcement of $100 million for the Advanced Manufacturing Fund. This will do an enormous amount to support design and engineering – and our transition to greater global competitiveness, Mr Pollaers said.
“It was good to see no changes on the successful R&D tax incentive but we are a little concerned that the Government appears to have projected reduced expenditure in this area – and await further advice on this.”
Jennifer Conley, Executive Director
M: 0406 857 856