The Coalition is advising that manufacturing is one of the five pillars which will allow Australia to continue to prosper as the mining boom phases out.
Both major parties talk of taking advantage of The Asian Century. Obviously this will not happen just because of geography - it has to be exports in excess of imports and Australia's imports are high and getting higher. Normally the list of exports would include:
Education income but less income costs for those studying overseas.
Tourism income but less costs of Australians holidaying overseas
Profits from export of animation expertise (as described by an economist)
The graph of ever increasing manufacturing imports shows how difficult for current trends to be reversed.