Australia must take manufacturing high-road to survive: expert

Australia needs to to embrace advanced manufacturing to survive globally, according to a speech from Dan Swinney, Chief executive of the Chicago Manufacturing Renaissance Council, during a visit to Victoria last week.

Swinney spoke in Geelong about why Australia needs more advanced manufacturing in order to survive as a manufacturing nation.

According to an article on called ‘Why Australia should take the manufacturing high road’, Swinney says each manufacturing job in Australia generates five more in other sectors of the economy.

“But there is a much broader social implication as well – advanced (or high road) manufacturing is the only sector that can support a large middle class, boost productivity and generate a broader tax base,” the article’s author said.

“Without it, society will become increasingly polarised between the haves and the have-nots,” the author quoted Swinney as saying.

Swinney was visiting Victoria only days before Ford announced it would lay-off 240 employees from its Broadmeadows and Geelong plants due to plumetting demand for its cars in Australia.

The automotive manufacturer has been troubled since it halted production last month in Victoria due to decreasing demand.

Advanced or ‘high-road’ manufacturing involves the adoption of cutting-edge technology to improve product quality and production efficiency.

Many of Australia’s small-to-medium manufacturing businesses use a small amount of automation only.

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