Tuesday, 21 May 2013

How can Manufacturing Grow again

Our analysis is that selective tariff protection (starting with structural steel) is the only answer and we invite anyone to offer an alternative view. My email is kurriman@hotmail.com
This would give work for Australians in steel supply, design, detailing, fabrication, painting and erection. Car manufacturers might leave. these people would not - they live here.

My plan is a baby step to apply a selective tariff  on fabricated structural steel from India and/or Indonesia. The reason for starting with those two countries is based on my own experience. I was working at the steelworks at Port Kembla when the Columbo Plan was producing such great results. We were teaching Indian engineers how to produce steel more efficiently.

Many decades later I was part of a small team sent to Indonesia. We taught young Indonesian engineers how to be better at controlling the extensions of the Krakatau Steel Plant.

India and Indonesia accepted that they could become more productive and we were pleased to assist.

Our questions are:

 Does the Australian Establishment:

 1.   Accept that our growth  rate is steadily  decreasing.

2.   Accept that our manufacturing has put us into 25th place out of 26 countries in a recent survey

3.   Realise that no economist has countered that presented by a professor from Monash University in Churchill Victoria that:

It has been good for Australia to eliminate traditional manufacturing to make way for cost based innovative industry.


The only two examples  he gave were niche aircraft manufacturing and cutting edge animation design.  The aircraft company he referred to went into free fall two weeks later. The half dozen or so jobs produced by animation design will find it difficult to match the more than a million jobs lost.

    4. Be prepared to even think about presenting the case for a selective tariff – even for a trial period?


Two weeks after the niche aircraft initiative  was suggested the local newspaper heading was "Aero Jobs in Free Fall." The detail tells that the company would have collapsed before an Indian company bought the  majority of the shares. The new overseas owners now feel that the next version of the aircraft should be manufactured offshore.

About a million jobs were lost while  traditional manufacturing is being  phased out and perhaps innovative animation design might support 4 or 5 people. No wonder we are cynical


Warren Truss talked of Australia's future in manufacturing in "cutting edge products." This sounds wonderful but Australia has bad history in making discoveries but having to go overseas for them to be made commercial. Some examples are cat's eyes on roads, black box recorders and various solar panel initiatives.


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