Manufacturing News

Manufacturing Australia details key issues

Manufacturing Australia’s new chair, Sue Morphet, detailed the lobby group’s policy agenda during a speech in Canberra yesterday, noting key areas of concern including chipping costs, anti-dumping laws and strengthening local participation.

The former Pacific Brands CEO, appointed last week to replace Dick Warburton, said that local shipping costs were an unfair disadvantage. The group has pointed out, “It costs approximately 40% more to ship bulk commodity goods such as raw sugar between Queensland and Melbourne than it does to ship comparable goods from Thailand to Melbourne,” and has called for a Productivity Commission inquiry into shipping regulations.

Morphet also spoke of the need for reform to strengthen anti-dumping laws, as well as in the use of local content in major projects, with large companies “gaming” laws by using local services on areas such as catering or housing and avoiding local manufactures and raw goods and still meeting content quotas.

A spokesman for industry minister Greg Combet’s office denied the claim, and told The Australian that difficulties were “typically because of the use of established international supply chains by large project proponents.”

The group’s updated policy agenda also proposes policy changes that stop Australia from “squandering” its energy resources and ending “the disadvantage of introducing a carbon tax that is not consistent with our trading partners.”

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