Last month, the Queensland Productivity Commission released its draft report, targeting costs, productivity and government programs – essentially putting forward a plan of action to make the state’s manufacturing sector more productive and competitive.
Principal Commissioner Kim Wood said the Queensland Government had asked him for policies that would support the strong and diverse manufacturing industry, which employs 169,000 workers.
According to Wood, in Queensland, manufacturing firms are successfully propelling their own competitiveness and growth. “To best support them, government action must target market and government failures, simplify and consolidate programs, and focus on performance and results,” Wood said.
Wood also mentioned that economy-wide policies, rather than sector-specific measures, will have the greatest benefit. “However, where incentives to individual firms or sectors are provided, they should be transparently reported,” he said
The draft report makes 10 recommendations, including to make it easier for business to locate here, avoid further pressure on energy prices, reform the state tax system, remove impediments to procurement and labour mobility, and ensure the manufacturing industry can access the right workforce.
Mr Wood said, overall, the Queensland manufacturing industry was robust and innovative.
“In our investigation, we saw many competitive manufacturers cleverly using natural resources, leading-edge technology, superior design, high levels of efficiency or a strong customer service focus to supply state, national and global markets,” he said.
“Undoubtedly, the manufacturing sector is facing external pressures, including strong domestic and international competition, rising input costs such as gas and electricity, and changing consumer needs.”