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AWU to play a key role in getting Australia’s manufacturing industry back on track and stronger than ever post COVID-19

April 30, 2020

The AWU’s National Secretary Daniel Walton has been appointed to the Federal Government’s Manufacturing Taskforce tasked with making Australia more self-reliant by expanding its manufacturing base.

The Manufacturing Taskforce will provide the Federal Government’s National Covid Coordination Commission (NCCC) with a blueprint for Australia’s manufacturing industry.

The appointees of the taskforce include company CEOs, industry associations, and union representatives and will focus on the following themes:

  • Promoting innovation and partnerships to improve manufacturing capability in Australia.
  • Identifying critical manufacturing skills & capability gaps.
  • Ensuring Australia’s domestic infrastructure is reliable and cost efficient.
  • Examining the effectiveness of Government incentives and polices to promote manufacturing.
  • Delivering reliable and cost effective energy supplies.

A key focus area for the AWU will be the creation of a domestic gas reservation policy to develop a supply of low-cost energy that would boost industries across Australia.

Daniel Walton said: “The Australian manufacturing industry employs more than a million people and has a long and proud history. But in recent years we have become too reliant on global supply chains.

“We need to use this opportunity to recreate and reshape the manufacturing industry in Australia.

“First off the list has to be tackling our high energy costs and shoring up our fuel security. If we can deliver low cost energy this will be a game changer for Australian industries such as aluminium and steel which are struggling because of soaring costs.

“It’s completely ridiculous that Australia can’t turn its vast mineral and resource wealth into a thriving manufacturing sector – with a little bit of vision, we absolutely can.”

“We have a highly skilled workforce here in Australia and if we work together with industry and government we can deliver a future that will provide many more jobs and new and innovative industries. In the 1950s manufacturing made up 30 per cent of Australia’s GDP – today it’s just 5 per cent. It’s about time we started reversing this decline.”

Join the AWU today and help secure a better and stronger future for all Australian workers. 

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