AAMC asks parties to state their policies on important industry issues

June 21, 2016 • Media Release, News

The Australian Advanced Manufacturing Council (AAMC) has called on all parties to state their policies on driving success in Australian advanced manufacturing and to respond to where they stand on a range of important industry issues highlighted by the Council.

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The Council has also offered its own views and positions on these issues that are currently impacting advanced manufacturing in the country.

“It is important that we understand where all the major parties stand on these issues – all of which will impact the success or otherwise of advanced manufacturing in Australia,” said Mr John Pollaers, the Chairman of AAMC.

“Australia’s economic future depends on stability, clarity and responsible stewardship of our high value industries and the creation of meaningful employment for the future. Our advanced manufacturers are among leaders in the world in their fields. Our policymakers must understand the imperatives of global business in order to maintain and grow these businesses here for future generations of Australians.”

The AAMC asks all parties where they stand on the following issues:

  1. Where do you stand on continued support for the Industry Growth Centres?

“We believe bipartisan commitment to core early stage innovation programs is fundamental to the success of advanced manufacturing in Australia.  Continuity must be maintained for the Growth Centres to be successful. Industry must have a degree of certainty in order to collaborate for future growth,” the Council said in a media statement.

  1. Where do you stand on concentrating effort behind the competitiveness agenda outlined through the growth centres?

“Australian Governments have attempted in recent years to invest in the development of programs to bridge the so-called “Valley of Death” between research and commercialisation, and to increase the global competitiveness of our industries,” reads the statement.

“We believe the competitiveness agenda is important. The structure is established. In other words, we have invested in the “machines” for growth; we just need to give them petrol. A possible review and evaluation of direction may be required to ensure the program is on the right track and to ensure it will deliver real outcomes for industry. But we cannot keep ripping up the plants to see if they are growing.”

  1. Where do you stand on the incentives around Intellectual Property (IP) development for manufacturing in Australia?

AAMC said it is on the opinion that Australia must introduce an advanced manufacturing innovation incentive scheme to attract and maintain high value manufacturing in Australia.

“Applicants would be required to submit plans for substantive commitments in manufacturing or for expanding knowledge-rich activities or capabilities in Australia,” reads the statement.

“At the same time, Australia’s Research and Development (R & D) tax incentive must be maintained at current levels and protected against further cuts.”

  1. Where do you stand on follow through on defence contracts to ensure access for Australian industry to major global supply chains?

“The Australian defence industry is world class and globally competitive, and must gain full access to major global value chains,” the Council stated.

“The recent First Principles Review process has set a new direction for Defence, while the Defence Industry Policy Statement has laid the foundation for a renewed defence-industry relationship, and real outcomes for Australian industry growth. These major reforms must be fully realised.”

  1. Where do you stand on building small and medium sized enterprises so they are competing on equal terms with their counterparts in competitor nations?

“The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) definition of small business is: an individual, partnership, trust or company with aggregated turnover less than $2 million. The Council has called for the threshold to be increased to $20 million to support scale and allow companies to operate on a more level playing field with their overseas competitors,” the AAMC said.

“Revising the definition to better reflect the reality of viability for a small business will help promote a stronger economy. It will ensure these entities gain full and reasonable benefit from ATO allowances for small business, and support their growth and continued viability into the future.”

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