The shape of things to come [Op/Ed]

The election has been and gone and the results weren’t surprising in the least. 

Tony Abbott has walked into the role of our new head of Government, and he was quick to make changes. 

Within hours of being appointed he slashed departments, and cut roles. 

While his attack on foreign aid is not going to overly affect manufacturing, their decision to jam mining, manufacturing, science, and everything vaguely industrial together into a single industrial portfolio is disturbing. 

Their promise to give manufacturing the attention and support it needed is unlikely to happen to the degree it should when the minister Ian Macfarlane also has to contend with science (and whatever that entails) and mining. 

It is quite likely that manufacturing, unfortunately, will get lost amongst the crowd for Macfarlane’s attention. 

So after spending what seems like years in the wilderness under a Labor Government, interspaced with Kim Carr at the helm, manufacturing is more than likely to be back out in the cold under the new government. 

We know that the Coalition supports smaller government, but this small? 

Manufacturing has suffered over the last few years, and like mining, is in need of governmental support, both in terms of policy and regulations.  

The way to solve this isn’t by putting two high-need industries into the same basket. 

Or to lump science in with the two of them; so that the nation does not have a science minister for the first time in around 80 years. 

They need individual ministers to attend to their issues and work directly with the sectors to formulate new plans to ensure their survival, and in turn, Australia’s survival. 

The future could definitely be dark. 

Many signs are pointing to it. 

But, maybe we are getting ahead of ourselves. 

Maybe Tony Abbott’s extended stint in hi-vis and constant factory visits over the last few months have made an impression upon him and his government. 

Maybe, just maybe, manufacturing’s future will be a little brighter, a little more optimistic. 
Put simply, it is too early to tell.  

You can only truly judge the effect a government has had through the magic of hindsight, and while the first 100 days are telling, it is simply an arbitrary milestone that is not indicative of the true worth of a government. 

History will be a harsher judge of the current and former governments than we ever can be in the present. 

Let’s just hope that they begin implementing real change, to stop the current era of industrial decline in this country. 

It’s time we had some leadership and support on the issue.

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