The Government has voiced its support for textile, clothing and footwear (TCF) manufacturing industry, claiming it will help the sector adapt to a low-carbon world.
Innovation minister Senator Kim Carr says the TCF sector is one of the most forward-thinking manufacturing industries in the country in terms of investing for innovation.
Senator Carr was speaking at the inaugural Big Green Conference in Geelong, which was a forum for industry and Government to speak about preparing our industry for a greener future.
“Climate change is remaking our environment and our economy,” Senator Carr said.
“We can plant a few trees, but they won’t shelter our manufacturers from that reality. Good businesses face the facts and find the opportunities – and the Australian Government will help them every step of the way.
“Like most manufacturing industries, TCF faces the challenge of creating sustainable products and business practices in a changing global environment. But the rewards are there for the firms who can adapt first. TCF is well-placed to make that transition.”
Senator Carr said that Australia’s TCF industries are diverse, vibrant and looking to the future. Almost one in two TCF firms already invest in innovation – well above the 40% of businesses in all sectors.
The Government has invested $37 million for new textile labs at the CSIRO–Deakin University Australian Future Fibres Research and Innovation Centre in Waurn Ponds.
The TCF Strategic Capability Program, a five year $35 million co-investment scheme to build our capabilities, is another investment.
The large-scale TCF manufacturing industry is almost non-existant in Australia now, with various firms moving off-shore to cheaper production areas like China.
Most of Australia’s TCF industry is now made up of smaller, niche, high-end brands.
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