Australian Advanced Manufacturing Council aims to ‘develop enablers’ for industry

A lobby group featuring some of Australia’s leading manufacturing CEOs has been announced, designed to promote Australia’s comparative industrial advantages.

As reported by Manufacturers’ Monthly and others, the Australian Advanced Manufacturing Council was announced at the Australian Industry Group’s Melbourne office yesterday.

"What we are about here in this group, which represents companies from across industry from a range of sectors in Australia, is developing those enablers that allow industry to flourish, grow and create jobs and create wealth in Australia," said Innes Willox, CEO of the Ai Group and a member of the new council.

Willox told AAP that the group is non-political, and was concerned with policy settings that would benefit the industry. Willox would not discuss what specific government support the council would be seeking.

"The industry needs to be able to compete on its own merits. It also needs to have the platform in place so that it can compete," Fairfax reports him as saying.

Another member of the council, Andrew Liveris, the CEO of global giant Dow Chemical, said that one of the things that could benefit Australia would be a proper hub for technology and manufacturing, linking researchers and the public and private sectors. He used Silicon Valley in California as an example, saying that Australia lacked a “risk-taking culture”, which such a hub would help address.

"Typically, great Australian inventions get innovated and monetised overseas," he said.

"An innovation hub, like Silicon Valley, needs to be designed and built in Australia. It won't happen by accident."

The Advanced Manufacturing Council also counts among its members John Pollaers, CEO of Pacific Brands and Chris Roberts of Cochlear.