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There are some who would argue that the current structure of Australia’s economy is sound and that wealth of natural resources as well as growth in the service sector is serving the country well. However, Australia’s trends are concerning — employment growth across the economy is slowing, the exchange rate movement continues to disadvantage manufacturing, global competitiveness rankings are slipping, and multifactor productivity growth is contracting.
A robust advanced manufacturing base creating higher value-add products is the key element to sustainable economic growth, meaningful job creation and the development of new markets. Australia must evaluate its comparative advantages against a backdrop of the trends driving global challenges. In particular, the nation must take a more strategic view on how to prioritize its energy resources. The proper policy environment could provide a prosperous future for Australia’s manufacturing industry and the Australian community as a whole, while still generating value from resource exports.
Australia has all the building blocks of a global leader including a vast quantity of natural resources, a highly skilled, talented workforce, and strong commitments to the rule of law, intellectual property protection and global trade. These encourage investment by providing a stable business climate.
With efforts such as the Prime Minister’s Task Force on Manufacturing, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation’s (CSIRO) Future Manufacturing Flagship, and other organizations focused on the question of innovation in Australia, the conversation around manufacturing is taking place as it is recognized that manufacturing is a key contributor to prosperity.
The Dow Advanced Manufacturing Plan for Australia is a plan for action – a comprehensive set of economic priorities and policy recommendations to create a stronger more balanced economy.
- Australia’s Natural Gas Opportunity – Fuelling a Manufacturing Renaissance
Factsheet One focuses on the importance of a national gas policy and how we must make the best use of our natural gas reserves to support and bolster Australia’s manufacturing base, while helping to create new, higher paying jobs for the Australian workforce.
- Australia’s Energy Opportunity – In the National Interest
Factsheet Two compares the Canadian and Australia gas markets.
- Australia’s Energy Opportunity – Market Failure in Natural Gas
Factsheet Three focuses on Australia’s failures that threaten substantial damage to the national interest.
Value Add Study
Large scale export of East Coast Australia natural gas: Unintended consequences - A study of the national interest effects of the structure of the Australian gas industry. (Executive Summary)