It is a great pleasure to congratulate the winners of the 2011 Endeavour Awards, on behalf of the Australian Government.
We celebrate tonight the vision and leadership of outstanding individuals. But we honour a tradition of manufacturing innovation stretching back many decades.
For fifty years, Manufacturers’ Monthly has stood witness to that remarkable story. The global economy has swung from boom to bust. Tariff shields have fallen. New technology has swept old industries away. Those who would not adapt did not survive.
But Australian manufacturing has always emerged resilient, through the courage and ingenuity of our people. Manufacturing employed a million proud Australians in 1961. And it employs a million proud Australians today.
But its output has quadrupled since that time. The phenomenal productivity of manufacturing has made it a cornerstone of our national economy. And Labor will never forget it.
We stood shoulder to shoulder with industry throughout the global economic crisis. And we stand with you today in the global challenge of climate change.
I know there are difficult times ahead. Energy costs are rising. Consumer demands are changing. Business as usual won’t be good enough. We cannot ignore that reality.
But we cannot ignore the mighty potential in our studios, factories and workshops.
More than ever, we need the skills and the ideas of those million Australians in manufacturing. We can lead the world in cleaner, cheaper production. We can make the energy efficient goods consumers demand. We can export green technology to the global market.
The introduction of the carbon price will attract investors to those opportunities. And every cent of the revenue we raise will be used to help our people and industries adjust to the new economy.
We are building a richer, fairer and greener Australia together.