PM urges manufacturers to enter mining industry

The Prime Minister claims the future of Australian manufacturing is in the mining industry, and has offered $1.2 million of grants to help companies form ties with mining projects – according to a report from The Australian.

Julia Gillard was speaking at a Perth manufacturing facility run by Hoffman Engineering, which designs and makes components for mining machinery.

"Other sections of manufacturing would do well to look at the track record of this place — how it has stayed at the forefront of research and development, how it has met its customers’ needs and how it has been investing in skills and training every step of the way," Gillard was quoted in The Australian report.

"These are the key ingredients that has made this business a success and this business is now drawing from the wealth of the resources industry.”

Since 1969 Hofmann Engineering has provided specialist engineering services to Australian industry. 

The company has experienced significant growth over the past few years, first with the purchase of Victorian precision engineering company Metaltec in 2009, and then in 2010 with the acquisition of 5 hectares of land and workshops from Thales Australia in Bendigo.

Hoffman Engineering’s offerings for the mining industry include replacement parts for draglines, shovels, hydraulic excavators, mining trucks, and disc vacuum filters.

The company also supplies components for gearing, mills and kilns, wind turbines, sugar mills, oil and gas, and portable machine tools.

Gillard’s attendance at Hoffman Engineering yesterday came off the back of calls from unions and industry to help provide a solution to the manufacturing jobs crisis.

Over the past year alone, various high-profile manufacturers including BlueScope Steel culled thousands of manufacturing jobs as a result of pressures from the high Australian dollar, cheap imports, and the mining boom.

Gillard held a jobs forum in Canberra earlier this month to address the issue, announcing tougher regulations for large projects to list their local content suppliers.

Image: Gillard’s visit to Hoffman Engineering. Picture: Will Russell. Source: PerthNow