The Shadow Industry Minister, Sophie Mirabella, has blamed the Gillard Government for the manufacturing sector declining during March, claiming “manufacturing activities and jobs continue to disappear under the Gillard Government.”
Mirabella was speaking after the Australian Industry Group – PricewaterhouseCoopers Performance of Manufacturers Index for March was released last week, revealing the 21st contraction in the space over the past 34 months.
According to a notice released by Mirabella’s office, these disappointing PMI results are “a further damning indictment of Julia Gillard and Kim Carr’s abysmal record on manufacturing policy.”
“This record stands in stark contrast to consistent expansions in the same index under the Howard Government – including 13 in its final 14 months in office,” said Mirabella.
Mirabella blames Gillard’s proposed carbon tax for most of the bad news.
She also cites ‘fury’ about the Government’s determination to withdraw millions of dollars in funding for R&D and commercialisation activities, and ‘frustration’ at its inaction on improving Australia’s anti-dumping system.
“Across Australia, manufacturers are all telling me the same story,” Mirabella said.
“There has been a complete loss of faith in this Government’s ability to deliver any results for Australian manufacturers, other than exporting their operations and jobs offshore.
“Confidence continues to plummet and activity continues to decline, and this is precisely the wrong time to be attempting to introduce an ill-considered carbon tax that will only make matters far worse.”
Australian manufacturers have been outraged since Gillard announced she wanted to install a carbon tax mid-2012, after vowing not to before the federal election last year.
BlueScope Steel’s chair, Graeme Kraehe, has dammed the proposal, saying it will turn Australia’s manufacturing industry into "a rusty museum".
Manufacturers’ Monthly has published an article written exclusively for this publication by Mirabella on the future of manufacturing in Australia. Click here.
Image courtesy of Benallaonline.com.au
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