Manufacturing News

Future of Australian manufacturing up for discussion at NMW

A series of panel discussions, featuring high-level industry representatives, will look at the future of Australia manufacturing, including key issues such as competitive advantage, innovation and tariffs, during National Manufacturing Week (NMW), to be held at the Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre from May 12 to 15.

The panel discussions come in the context of comments by Senator Kim Carr, Federal Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research, who spoke recently about the need for Australian manufacturing to “grow faster, and in different directions”.

“Australia has sophisticated manufacturing capabilities, and the sector contributes enormously to our economic and social well-being, and it should never be underestimated,” he said.

This theme will be picked up by the panel discussions, according to John Gorton, Group Exhibition Director at Reed Exhibitions, organiser of NMW 09.

“NMW is much more than just an exhibition. It’s a place where industry leaders can come and exchange ideas, and for this reason, we’re very pleased to host these important panel discussions,” said Gorton.

The panel discussions will take place on Wednesday May 13 and Thursday May 14 between 1 pm and 2 pm, within the exhibition area; all visitors and participants at NMW are encouraged to attend.

A number of the panellists are members of the Future Manufacturing Industry Innovation Council (FMIIC), appointed by Senator Carr. Those taking part in the panel discussions will include:

Session 1 — Wednesday, 13 May

· Sylvia Tulloch (FMIIC), General Manager, Dyesol Industries

· Dr Calum Drummond (FMIIC), Chief, CSIRO Materials Science & Engineering

· Tony Quick (FMIIC), Director & General Manager, GKN Aerospace Engineering.

Session 2 – Thursday, 14 May

· Diane Thompson (FMIIC), Managing Director, Powercom Group

· Brad Crofts, Economic Advisor, Australian Workers Union

· Paul Gekas, General Manager, Robotics, Automotive & Manufacturing, ABB Australia

· Dr Michael Green (FMIIC), General Manager, Manufacturing Innovation Branch, Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research.

The panels will be moderated by John Blakemore, National President of the Manufacturing Society of Australia, who will guide discussions through the major issues facing manufacturing in Australia today and in the future.

“In the wake of Senator Carr’s comments about the manufacturing sector, these panel discussions will give those attending NMW some vital insights into the government’s thinking on manufacturing policy, and where this industry is going,” said Gorton.

“It’s another example of how important NMW has become in delivering information, networking, insight and new contacts for Australian manufacturing,” he said.

NMW 09 will also play host to Martin Pakula, the Victorian Minister for Industry and Trade, who will visit the exhibition on Tuesday, May 12.

Minister Pakula will deliver a short speech and meet with Victorian manufacturers.

For further information call John Delpech, 02 9422 2568, email or visit

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