Manufacturing Australia appoints former Pacific Brands CEO as its new Chairman

March 15, 2013 • News

Sue Morphet has been appointed the new Chairman of Manufacturing Australia.

The business coalition of Australia’s largest manufacturers has announced on their website that they have selected Ms. Morphet because of her passion for the sector and her credentials. Morphet was CEO of Pacific Brands for five years until August last year, and has been with the company for 17 years.

Screenshot from ABC

Screenshot from ABC

Her stint in the company, which marketed brands such as Berlei and Bonds, was a stormy one, as she endured pressures from cheap imports, the GFC and the rapid commoditisation of consumer goods.

Morphet believes that wherever manufacturing flourishes, one can also expect the growth of skilled employment, innovation, and thriving communities.

“I am not in favour of protectionism, nor organisations that use external issues to cloud faulty internal business processes,” the new Chairman said. “For manufacturing to be strong it needs a fair level playing field, a sound commercial and regulatory environment that attracts investment and a representative voice to raise the calibre of national debate on the issues affecting the sector.”

Manufacturing Australia has expressed their intention to continue the collaboration with the Australian Federal and State Governments, as well as with other sectors, “to ensure fair and appropriate industry policies, and to secure the future of this sector.”

The CEOs of the organization’s member companies believe that a productive domestic manufacturing sector is fundamental to a healthy Australian economy.

According to a report on ABC, Manufacturing Australia is about to embark on its campaign and lobby for cheaper gas for local industry at the nation’s capital.

“We’re taking policy suggestions and plans to Canberra Monday week. Energy abundance: how do we ensure that there is a local market for energy as well as an export market for energy and that that’s used appropriately to be able to support local business? But also so that it can encourage investment versus going offshore where there is much cheaper energy,” said Morphet in the interview with ABC.

In the interview Morphet, who described herself as an optimist but also a realist, also commented on the current state of the manufacturing industry.

“Now not all manufacturing’s going to be successful in Australia, there’s no doubt about that, but if we can put in the correct policies and if we can build the appropriate skill sets, then we can definitely encourage investment here in Australia,” she said. “I am an optimist. I’m – but I’m also realistic. Some businesses will have reached their used-by date here in Australia and others will not.”

Meanwhile, Manufacturing Australia’s former Chairman Dick Warburton extended his congratulations to his successor.

“Whilst positive outcomes have been achieved for Australian manufacturing over the last 12 months, the sector remains severely threatened,” said Mr. Warburton. “I’m therefore delighted that Manufacturing Australia, with Sue Morphet at its helm, will continue to ensure that Australian manufacturing is represented by a strong voice for manufacturers on vital public policy and economic issues.”

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