Launch of our editorial series – Celebrating Australian Made
Today @AuManufacturig is launching our latest editorial series – Celebrating Australian Made – in preparation for Australian Made Week (May 24-30). Here, Peter Roberts examines the value of the Australian Made.
When my family arrived in Australia as migrants from the UK I remember our taxi driver tapping on the dashboard of his Holden car and proudly telling us that it was’ made of good old Australian steel. ”.
By setting up in the town where Lance Hills (pictured, left) made hoists, we all knew our Holden and Chrysler cars, our Lightburn washing machines, our Fraser ironing boards, our Scott Bonnar mowers, our Clipsal switches, our Actil plates and our good old Australian ships and steel. made in Whyalla.
But behind tariff barriers, our manufacturers have become lazy. The oil crises of the 1970s and the dismantling of protection exposed many local products as derivatives of foreign models, with outdated technology and high prices.
Without the backing of protection, manufacturing empires such as Pacific Dunlop that made tires, car batteries, food, cables, clothing, electronics, bedding, and condoms collapsed.
There were a few survivors of the Pacific Dunlop debacle, like hearing implant maker Cochlear, while others, like Ansell, have completely outsourced production.
Sadly, an attitude in which we cannot or cannot get it right, bottoming out in 2014 with then Defense Minister Senator Johnston attacking the Australian submarine company with the issue – “ you wonder why I wouldn’t trust them to build a canoe ‘?
Following Johnston’s deserved demise, the government set out to rebuild the defense industry and is today a technology leader, with major projects spurring innovation and strengthening the capabilities of thousands of Local SMEs.
In fact, the bad old days were already over by 2014. The companies and industries that survived were for the most part competitive – imports had to be resisted flocking to what is the most open market in the developed world.
There was a new generation of manufacturing leaders and companies such as Cochlear and ResMed, CSL, Orica and even in the steel industry where BlueScope is the world leader in coated steel technology and painted.
At the other end of the scale, companies like Decor have shown they can still compete by making relatively simple children’s lunch boxes in Australia.
With labor costs a decreasing proportion of the cost of manufacturing, new production technologies and the example of high-cost Germany – there is simply no reason why Australia cannot. not find its manufacturing mojo.
We all know the industrial history of the Covid-19 pandemic which exposed areas where Australia is unable to manufacture for its own critical needs, the fragility of global supply chains and the folly of relying on others.
There has undoubtedly been a change in attitude of the government and the community towards buying Australian Made, and some examples of outsourcing and relocation of manufacturing.
The manufacturing sector is growing, but the extent of any recovery is not yet clear.
But the key to any long-term recovery in the manufacturing sector lies in the attitude of the Australian community and those who make decisions about investments and purchases in the financial sector, manufacturing companies and government.
Australian Made Campaign Limited (AMCL) is one of the groups that strive to educate the public on the benefits of going local, and the many great manufacturers that we have.
A public not-for-profit company established in 1999 by the Australian Chambers of Commerce, with cooperation from the Federal Government, AMCL licenses the Australian Made logo.
@AuManufacturing is proud to partner with the Australian Made Campaign to bring readers our very first one-month editorial series – Celebrating Australian Made.
Our first story in the series, by Jake Dingle, CEO of carbon fiber road wheel maker Carbon Revolution, appears here.
The series concludes with the very first Australian Made Week, May 24-30, which will encourage all of us to focus on buying authentic Australian products while celebrating local growers and producers.
You can get involved in Australian Made Week by:
- Find and purchase products with the green and gold Australian Made, Australian Grown logo.
- Taking into account the flow effects of your purchasing decisions. When you buy from Australia, you are helping support local businesses and communities.
To find Australian made and grown products, visit the “ Where to Buy Made Australian Made ” page on the AMCL website.
The @ AuManufacturing – Celebrating Australian Made Editorial Series – leading up to Australian Made Week (May 24-30) – is brought to you with the support of Australian Made Campaign Ltd, licensor of the Australian Made logo.
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