Manufacturers need to step up to new technology: AMWU

The national secretary of Australia’s biggest industry workers union has told manufacturers that they need to step up to technology opportunities if they want to make it in the future.

Dave Oliver of AMWU was talking at the Australian Industry Group (Ai Group) national conference in Canberra this week.

 “With the combination of a price on carbon, incentives for new clean technologies and appropriate polices to ensure high levels of Australian industry participation we can create thousands of new jobs and build a clean tech industry of substance in this country,” Oliver told attendees.

Oliver’s warning reportedly came off the back of an Ai Group survey that showed 60% of businesses do not intend to improve their energy efficiency before the carbon tax is introduced on 1 July 2012.

“This Government has provided us – the manufacturing sector – with the greatest of opportunities for the future by taking what some will argue is the bravest of political decisions in implementing a tax on carbon pollution,” said Oliver.

“We must be equally courageous in responding to those opportunities, lest we slip further behind the manufacturing sectors in countries that are already building their capacity in clean technology products or more efficient manufacturing processes.”

Oliver claims the AMWU believes short-term flexibility is needed from the government on the carbon scheme, along with more public investment to get clean technology initiatives in manufacturing up and running.

Read a transcript of Oliver’s speech here.