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131(C)

S P E E C H BY S E N A T O R J N B U T T O N

M I N I S T E R F O R I N D U S T R Y A N D C O M M E R C E

A T T H E O P E N I N G OF N E W A N D E X T E N D E D F A C I L I T I E S AT M E R C E D E S BENZ

A U S T R A L I A , M U L G R A V E , VIC

12 N O V E M B E R 198H

IN T H E L A S T 12 M O N T H S I H A V E M A D E M A N Y S P E E C H E S A B O U T

A U S T R A L I A ' S M O T O R V E H I C L E I N D U S T R Y

ON M O R E T H A N O N E OR T W O O C C A S I O N S I HAV E S P O K E N IN PRAISE

OF T H E W E S T G E R M A N C O M P A N Y M E R C E D E S BE N Z W H O S E F U R T H E R

I N V E S T M E N T IN A U S T R A L I A W E C E L E B R A T E T OD AY.

M E R C E D E S B E N Z I S A N E X A M P L E T O A U S T R A L I A N M A N U F A C T U R I N G

I N D U S T R Y .

A C L A S S I C C A S E OF G O O D M A R K E T I N G A G A I N S T L O W E R C O S T

S O U R C E S .

W H I L E T H E C A R C O M P A N I E S OF T H E W O R L D W E R E S U F F E R I N G A T THE

H A N D S OF T H E J A P A N E S E A N D THE E N E R G Y C R I S I S . M E R C E D E S BENZ

C O N T I N U E D I T S S T E A D Y G R O W T H BY E M P H A S I S I N G : '

S U P E R I O R Q U A L I T Y . . ./Δ

2

S U P E R I O R Q U A L I T Y ^ ' ^

- HIGH T E C H N I C A L S T A N D A R D S

- HIGH S A F E T Y C A P A B I L I T I E S

- S U P E R I O R R E L I A B I L I T Y

M E R C E D E S B EN Z A U S T R A L I A W I L L FACE BIG C H A L L E N G E S IN THE

FUTURE IN A U S T R A L I A .

IN MAY OF T H I S YEA R I ANN OU N C E D , IN THE C O N T E X T OF A

C O M P R E H E N S I V E R E V I S I O N OF A R R A N G E M E N T S F O R THE P A S S E N G E R

M O T O R V E H I C L E I N D U S T R Y OF T H I S C O U N T R Y , T H A T I M P O R T E R S

P R E V I O U S L Y H O L D I N G Q U O T A W O U L D HAVE TO T E N D E R TO R E T A I N

Q UO TA AS T IM E PASSED.

THIS M E A N S THAT, OVER A P E R I O D OF T IM E A L L I M P O R T E R S W I L L

PAY C O M P E T I T I V E R A T E S OF DUTY ON THE V AL UE OF W H A T THE Y

IMPORT.

T H A T R E M O V E S AN A D V A N T A G E P R E V I O U S L Y H E L D BY T HO SE

S U P P L Y I N G THE A U S T R A L I A N M A R K E T W I T H E X P E N S I V E C A R S FROM

/? E UR OPE. THFY ppn/rniiQi v uap τη

3

- T H E Y P R E V I O U S L Y H A D TO PAY A L O W E R P R O P O R T I O N OF THE

V A L U E OF T H E I R I M P O R T S TO O B T A I N Q U O T A T HA N THOSE

I M P O R T I N G C H E A P E R CARS.

- ALSO, A L T H O U G H THE N U M B E R OF C A R S I M P O R T E D W I L L

G R A D U A L L Y IN C R E A S E , THE C O M P E T I T I O N W I T H I N THE IMPORT

S E C T O R W I L L BE H O T TER.

- S OM E I M P O R T E R S W I L L GAIN, O T H E R S W I L L LOSE.

H O W E V E R I S U S P E C T T H A T S O M E H O W T H E R E W I L L BE AT L E A S T AS MANY

M E R C E D E S B E N Z ' S S O L D IN T H I S C O U N T R Y IN 1992 A S T H E R E ARE

TODAY.

A N O T H E R M A J O R A R E A OF A C T I V I T Y F O R M E R C E D E S BENZ A U S T R A L I A IS

THE LOC AL A S S E M B L Y OF H E A V Y C O M M E R C I A L V E H I C L E S .

M E R C E D E S BENZ T R U C K S HAVE B EE N P R O M I N E N T IN A U S T R A L I A SINCE THE

1950s, C K D A S S E M B L Y BEG AN IN 1958.

L I K E T H E S U C C E S S F U L

Μ

LIKE THE S U C C E S S F U L P A S S E N G E R C A R S , T H E S U C C E S S OF M E R C E D E S

T R U C K S W A S F O U N D E D ON A R E P U T A T I O N F O R D O I N G T H E T A S K IT W A S

D E S I G N E D FOR

- E C O N O M I C A L L Y

- R E L I A B L Y

A N D W I T H A P P R O P R I A T E I N V E S T M E N T IN P A R T S A N D S E R V I C E BACKUP.

AGAIN, IN T H E A R E A OF H E A V Y C O M M E R C I A L V E H I C L E S M E R C E D E S BENZ

W I L L FACE A C H A L L E N G E S I M I L A R TO T H E C H A L L E N G E IT F A C E S W I T H

R E G A R D TO P A S S E N G E R CARS.

THE A S S E M B L Y O P E R A T I O N S C U R R E N T L Y B E I N G U N D E R T A K E N R E C E I V E A

V E R Y HIGH LEV EL OF G O V E R N M E N T A S S I S T A N C E .

THE IAC E S T I M A T E T H E M TO BE A R O U N D 100%.

A L L P O L I T I C A L P A R T I E S ARE C O M M I T T E D TO G R A D U A L L Y R E D U C I N G T H A T

P R O T E C T I O N .

M E R C E D E S H A V E R E S P O N D E D . ../5.

- 5

M E R C E D E S HAVE R E S P O N D E D T O T H E S E C H A L L E N G E S TO ITS PAS SENG ER

A N D C O M M E R C I A L V E H I C L E O P E R A T I O N S W I T H AN AGG RE S S I V E C O M M I T M E N T

TO THE IR A U S T R A L I A N O P E R A T I O N S A N D S T R O N G INVESTMENT.

THE M E R C E D E S C O M M I T M E N T TO THE L O C A L D E V E L O P M E N T OF M E R C E D E S -

BENZ C O M M E R C I A L V E H I C L E S C U L M I N A T E D IN THE E S T A B L I S H M E N T OF THE

P R E S E N T M E R C E D E S - B E N Z (AUSTRA LIA) PTY LTD A S S E M B L Y PLANT AT

M U L GRAV E.

THE PLANT W A S O P E N E D IN 1978. IT W A S D O U B L E D IN SIZE IN 1981

AND IS m BEIi'C- FUT.TKEF, E X T E I E D .

IN OCTOBER 1983 MER CEDES C E L E B R A T E D THE ASSEMBLY OF ITS

ΙΟ,ΟΟΟΤΗ TRUCK. :

IN APRIL 1984 MY COLLEAGUE MR CAI N O F F ICIA TED AT THE OPENING OF

THE NEW HEADQUARTERS OF M E R C E D E S BENZ (DISTRIBUTION) IN JOHNSON

ST, SOUTH MELBOURNE.

IT WAS A $4.5 MILLION INVESTMENT.

IN JUNE, ANOTHER C O L L E A G U E . ..75.

6

IN J U N E A N O T H E R C O L L E A G U E , M R W R A N A T T E N D E D T H E O P E N I N G OF

A N O T H E R F A C I L I T Y ( C O S T I N G S O M E $6 M I L L I O N ) IN NSW.

T O D A Y I AM HERE P E R F O R M I N G A S I M I L A R S E R V I C E F O R T H E S A M E

C O M P A N Y .

I M I G H T SAY IN P A S S I N G T H A T W H I L E I NOT E, A N D A P P R E C I A T E

M E R C E D E S B E N Z ' S C O R P O R A T E P O L I C Y OF N O T C O M M E N T I N G ON THE

D O M E S T I C P O L I C I E S OF H O S T G O V E R N M E N T ' S , I A M G L A D TO N O T E A L S O

T H A T BY A S K I N G S T A T E A N D F E D E R A L G O V E R N M E N T R E P R E S E N T A T I V E S T O

O P E N R E C E N T I N V E S T M E N T S , M E R C E D E S B E N Z HA V E B E E N L U C K Y E N O U G H

TO HAVE I N V I T E D A P O L I T I C I A N F R O M T H E S A M E P O L I T I C A L P A R T Y ON

E A C H O C C A S I O N .

I HOP E A N D E X P E C T W E C A N C O N T I N U E T H E P A R T N E R S H I P .

I HAV E M U C H P L E A S U R E IN O P E N I N G Y O U R E X T E N D E D W A R E H O U S I N G

S E R V I C E A N D N E W T R A I N I N G F A C I L I T I E S .

131 β

ADDRESS TO AUSTRALIA INDONESIA BUSINESS CO-OPERATION COUNCIL

BY SENATOR THE HON. JOHN. N. BUTTON

MINISTER FOR INDUSTRY AND COMMERCE

DENPASAR, BALI

THURSDAY 8 NOVEMBER 1984

MR CHAIRMAN, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN.

LET ME CONGRATULATE YOUR COMMITTEE ON THE OCCASION OF ITS 13TH ANNUAL JOINT

MEETING.

ALTHOUGH WE ARE IN THE THROES OF AN ELECTION CAMPAIGN IN AUSTRALIA JUST NOW,

I WAS VERY HAPPY TO HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO COME TO INDONESIA AND PARTICIPATE IN THIS MEETING, BECAUSE I APPRECIATE THE GREAT VALUE OF GETTING

BUSINESSMEN FROM DIFFERENT COUNTRIES TO JOIN TOGETHER AND DISCUSS THE

OPPORTUNITIES AND THE PROBLEMS THAT CONFRONT TRADING PARTNERS.

I WAS ABLE TO ATTEND THE MEETING LAST YEAR IN COOLANGATTA AND RECOGNISED IT

AS A VALUABLE MEANS OF DEVELOPING THE CLOSE RELATIONSHIP THAT EXISTS BETWEEN

OUR TWO COUNTRIES.

INDONESIA IS ONE OF AUSTRALIA'S NEAREST AND LARGEST NEIGHBOURS AND THE

AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENT IS KEEN TO DEVELOP THE MANY ELEMENTS OF OUR BILATERAL

RELATIONSHIP.

I AM PLEASED TO NOTE THAT OUR TRADING RELATIONSHIP IS ON A SOUND FOOTING AND

LARGELY WITHOUT THE PROBLEMS THAT CAN SOMETIMES OCCUR BETWEEN TRADING

PARTNERS .

THERE IS SUBSTANTIAL TRADE BETWEEN OUR TWO COUNTRIES, ALTHOUGH THE MOST

RECENT FIGURES OF 1983/84 SHOW THAT AUSTRALIAN IMPORTS OF CRUDE PETROLEUM

PRODUCTS FROM INDONESIA FELL SHARPLY FROM THE PREVIOUS YEAR.

THIS FALL WAS PARTLY OFFSET BY INCREASES IN IMPORTS FOR A NUMBER OF OTHER

PRODUCTS INCLUDING ANIMAL GOODS AND REFINED PETROLEUM.

AUSTRALIAN EXPORTS TO INDONESIA HAVE REMAINED STABLE IN THE PAST FEW YEARS

AT AROUND $400 MILLION PER YEAR.

INVESTMENT IS AN IMPORTANT ELEMENT OF THE BILATERAL RELATIONSHIP.

VERY MANY AUSTRALIAN FIRMS HAVE SEEN THE ADVANTAGES OF VENTURES IN

INDONESIA, AND TOTAL AUSTRALIAN INVESTMENT IN INDONESIA NOW STANDS AT AROUND

$150 MILLION.

INDONESIA IS ALSO A SIGNIFICANT MARKET FOR AUSTRALIAN CONSULTANCY SERVICES

IN SUCH FIELDS AS AGRICULTURE, URBAN DEVELOPMENT, WATER SUPPLIES AND MAJOR

PROJECT MANAGEMENT.

BOTH THE AUSTRALIAN AND INDONESIAN GOVERNMENTS RECOGNISE THE IMPORTANCE OF

THE LINKAGES CREATED BY INVESTMENT OF THIS TYPE.

WHILST IT BRINGS COMMERCIAL BENEFITS TO BOTH COUNTRIES, IT ALSO ENCOURAGES

GREATER UNDERSTANDING OF EACH OTHER'S SOCIETY AND CULTURE AND PROMOTES AN

AWARENESS OF WHY WE SOMETIMES TAKE DIFFERING POSITIONS ON ISSUES OF COMMON

CONCERN.

INDONESIA IS ALSO AN IMPORTANT DESTINATION FOR AUSTRALIAN TOURISTS. IT IS

ESTIMATED THAT ABOUT 85,000 AUSTRALIANS WILL HOLIDAY IN INDONESIA THIS

YEAR. I LOOK FORWARD TO THE DAY WHEN WE CAN WELCOME A SIMILAR NUMBER OF

INDONESIAN VISITORS TO AUSTRALIA.

AT THE POLITICAL LEVEL I BELIEVE THAT THE RELATIONSHIP HAS MATURED IN THE PAST YEAR OR SO. IT CANNOT BE EXPECTED THAT AUSTRALIA AND INDONESIA WILL

AGREE ON EVERY ISSUE: OCCASIONALLY, THERE WILL BE DIFFERENCES OF VIEW.

BUT THE AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENT BELIEVES THAT THE GOODWILL AND MUTUAL RESPECT WHICH UNDERPINS OUR RELATIONSHIP WILL ENSURE THAT ANY PROBLEMS WIHICH ARISE

CAN BE HANDLED IN A MATURE AND UNDERSTANDING MANNER. WE MAY NOT ALWAYS END UP IN AGREEMENT, BUT WE SHOULD ALWAYS KEEP IN MIND THE IMPORTANCE OF

MAINTAINING THE OVERALL RELATIONSHIP ON A FRIENDLY AND STABLE BASIS.

I WELCOME THE ROLE THE AUSTRALIA/INDONESIA BUSINESS CO-OPERATION COMMITTEE HAS PLAYED, AND WILL CONTINUE TO PLAY, IN DEVELOPING FRIENDSHIP BETWEEN OUR

COUNTRIES.

INDONESIA AND AUSTRALIA SHARE A COMMON INTEREST IN REGIONAL AND

INTERNATIONAL MATTERS.

EARLIER THIS WEEK IN SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA HOSTED A MEETING OF TRADE OFFICIALS

FROM COUNTRIES OF THE WESTERN PACIFIC AREA, INCLUDING REPRESENTATIVES FROM

INDONESIA.

HOWEVER, BY INTERNATIONAL STANDARDS AUSTRALIA HAS A RELATIVELY OPEN MARKET.

THE AVERAGE NOMINAL TARIFF ON IMPORTS IS AROUND 15% WITH MOST IMPORTS

ENTERING AT MINIMAL RATES OF DOTY. AUSTRALIA MAKES NO SIGNIFICANT USE OF

NON-TARIFF BARRIERS TO PROTECT OUR INDUSTRIES. '

OUR PER CAPITA IMPORTS OF CLOTHING AND FOOTWEAR, FOR EXAMPLE, ARE AMONGST

THE HIGHEST OF ANY INDUSTRIALISED COUNTRY AND THE CURRENT SEVEN YEAR

ASSISTANCE PLAN FOR THE TEXTILE, CLOTHING AND FOOTWEAR INDUSTRIES PROVIDES

FOR FURTHER GRADUAL INCREASES IN IMPORTS.

THE GOVERNMENT IS REVIEWING A WIDE RANGE OF INDUSTRY ASSISTANCE POLICIES

WITH THE OBJECTIVES OF PLACING LESS EMPHASIS ON IMPORT BARRIERS AS A MEANS

OF INDUSTRY ASSISTANCE, AND GREATER EMPHASIS ON POSITIVE INCENTIVES TO

ENCOURAGE THE DEVELOPMENT OFCOMPETITIVE IMPORT COMPETING AND EXPORTING

INDUSTRIES.

THESE MOVES SHOULD BE VIEWED IN CONTEXT WITH AUSTRALIA'S IMPROVED ECONOMIC

PERFORMANCE OVER THE PAST 18 MONTHS. OUR INFLATION RATE IS DOWN TO 6.5%

FROM 11% AND INTEREST RATES AND UNEMPLOYMENT HAVE ALSO FALLEN. OUR ECONOMIC

GROWTH WAS AMONG THE FASTEST IN THE WORLD LAST FINANCIAL YEAR.

GOVERNMENTS WILL CONTINUE TO PLAY AN IMPORTANT ROLE IN GENERATING INCREASED

LEVELS OF TRADE AND INVESTMENT IN THE COMING YEARS.

BUT IT IS ALSO UP TO BUSINESSMEN TO RECOGNISE OPPORTUNITIES IN THE REGION.

THOSE OF YOU HERE TODAY ARE SHOWING YOUR BELIEF IN THE FUTURE OF THE

AUSTRALIA/INDONESIA BUSINESS RELATIONSHIP.

LET ME FINISH BY OFFERING MY BEST WISHES FOR THE SUCCESS OF YOUR MEETING

OVER THE NEXT TWO DAYS.

AIBCC IS PLAYING A VALUABLE ROLE IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF FRIENDLY AND

NEIGHBOURLY RELATIONS BETWEEN INDONESIA AND AUSTRALIA AND ONCE AGAIN I WISH

IT WELL IN CARRYING ON THIS ROLE IN THE FUTURE.

THE SYDNEY MEETING WAS THE LATEST IN THE CURRENT ROUND OF DISCUSSIONS IN

WHICH REGIONAL COUNTRIES ARE CONSIDERING A RANGE OF PROBLEMS IN THE

INTERNATIONAL TRADE ARENA.

THESE DISCUSSIONS, IN THE CONTEXT OF A LIKELY NEW ROUND OF MULTILATERAL

TRADE NEGOTIATIONS ARE DESIGNED TO ENABLE MATTERS OF CONCERN TO BE AIRED SO

THAT REGIONAL COUNTRIES MAY BE BETTER PREPARED FOR ANY NEW MTN ROUND.

BOTH AUSTRALIA AND INDONESIA ARE PLAYING A SIGNIFICANT ROLE IN THIS REGIONAL

INITIATIVE AND AN EARLIER MEETING WAS HELD HERE IN DENPASAR.

INDONESIA, IN ITS ROLE AS A LEADING VOICE IN ASEAN, IS NECESSARILY CONCERNED

WITH THE ECONOMIC PROGRESS OF THE DEVELOPING COUNTRIES IN THIS REGION.

THE WESTERN PACIFIC BASIN IS GENERALLY REGARDED AS AN AREA OF MAJOR ECONOMIC

POTENTIAL. WHILE THE DEVELOPED INDUSTRIAL COUNTRIES OF THE WEST HAVE EXPERIENCED SLOW GROWTH IN RECENT YEARS, COUNTRIES IN NORTH EAST AND SOUTH

EAST ASIA HAVE DEMONSTRATED IMPRESSIVE ECONOMIC PERFORMANCES, INCLUDING

INDONESIA.

INDONESIA'S ECONOMIC GROWTH RATE DURING THE 1970s AND EARLY 1980s AVERAGED

AROUND 8% - A REMARKABLE ACHIEVEMENT.

TO A GREAT EXTENT AUSTRALIA HAS BEEN INVOLVED IN THIS REGIONAL ECONOMIC GROWTH. IN 1983 MORE THAN 50% OF OUR TOTAL EXPORTS WENT TO COUNTRIES OF THE

ASIA/PACIFIC REGION, WHILE AROUND 40% OF OUR TOTAL IMPORTS CAME FROM THESE

COUNTRIES.

BUT WE SHOULD NOT BECOME COMPLACENT ABOUT THIS.

WE CAN EXPECT INCREASED COMPETITION FOR A SHARE OF THE ASEAN MARKET FROM

JAPAN, THE USA, EUROPE AND OTHER ASIAN COUNTRIES.

BUT THERE ARE SIGNIFICANT AND WIDENING OPPORTUNITIES FOR AUSTRALIA AS ASEAN

COUNTRIES LOOK FOR THE GOODS AND SERVICES TO PROMOTE THEIR ECONOMIC

DEVELOPMENT.

AUSTRALIA RECOGNISES HOWEVER, THAT TRADE IS NOT A ONE WAY STREET WITH ALL

THE BENEFITS COMING TO US. IT IS VITAL THAT THE GROWING REGIONAL ECONOMIES

FIND MARKETS FOR THEIR EXPANDING OUTPUT.

NATURALLY, THEY LOOK TO AUSTRALIA AS ONE OF THOSE MARKETS EVEN THOUGH, WITH

A POPULATION OF NOT QUITE 16 MILLION, THERE ARE LIMITS TO AUSTRALIA'S

CAPACITY TO ABSORB LARGE VOLUMES OF IMPORTED GOODS.

1 S I f\ ' t r* >T > y ADDRESS BY SENATOR THE HOE. JOHN N. BUTTON

MINISTER FOR INDUSTRY AND COMMERCE

AUSTRALIAN COMPUTER EQUIPMENT SUPPLIERS ASSSOCIATION

ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING DINNER

SYDNEY

FRIDAY 2 NOVEMBER 1984

I AM VERY PLEASED TO BE GIVEN THIS OPPORTUNITY OF SPEAKING TO YOU AT THIS

DINNER OF YOUR SIXTH ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING. SUCH MEETINGS PROVIDE AN OPPORTUNITY TO REFLECT ON THE PAST YEAR AND PLAN FOR THE NEW.

IN COMMON WITH OTHER MEMBERS OF THE GOVERNMENT, I AM IN SOMETHING OF A SIMILAR SITUATION MYSELF - REFLECTING ON OUR PAST TERMS, AND LOOKING

FORWARD, I HOPE, TO THE NEW. THE ONLY DIFFERENCE IS THAT ELECTIONS ARE NOT ANNUAL EVENTS - FOR WHICH WE SHOULD ALL BE ETERNALLY GRATEFUL.

HOWEVER, ELECTIONS DO CONCENTRATE THE THOUGHTS OF POLITICIANS AND

MINISTERS. ON LOOKING BACK, OVER THE PERIOD SINCE MARCH 1983, IN RELATION TO THE COMPUTER INDUSTRY, I THINK THAT THERE ARE A NUMBER OF ASSOCIATED

AREAS IN AND AROUND THE INDUSTRY, IN WHICH USEFUL PROGRESS HAS BEEN ΜΑΓΕ, AND ONE DECISION IN PARTICULAR, WHICH I BELIEVE HISTORY WILL SHOW TO HAVE

BEEN QUITE IMPORTANT.

I REFER, OF COURSE, TO THE GOVERNMENT'S DECISION ON THE IAC REPORT, UNDER WHICH COMPUTER HARDWARE, ELECTRONIC MICROCIRCUITS AND MOST OFFICE EQUIPMENT CAN BE IMPORTED AT MINIMUM RATES OF DUTY: SOFTWARE ON MEDIA FREE OF DUTY,

AND A BOUNTY PAID TO LOCAL PRODUCERS ON VALUE ADDED.

IN TAKING THIS DECISION THE GOVERNMENT WAS MINDFUL OF THE NEED BOTH TO PROMOTE THE WELL BEING OF THE COMPUTER INDUSTRY, BROADLY DEFINED, IN AUSTRALIA, AND TO ENHANCE INDUSTRY COMPETITIVENESS. THAT IS, THE COMPUTER AND ASSOCIATED EQUIPMENT IS FAST BECOMING CENTRAL NOT ONLY TO INFORMATION

HANDLING, BUT TO CONTROL OF MANUFACTURING AND OTHER PROCESSES. IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO ENVISAGE A COMPETITIVE, OUTWARD-LOOKING MANUFACTURING SECTOR WITHOUT A VIGOROUS COMPUTER INDUSTRY AT ITS DOORSTEP.

z · ■ * .

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THUS, THE INFORMATION INDUSTRIES HAVE THE POTENTIAL TO DEVELOP IN THIER OWN

RIGHT AND TO HAVE A MAJOR IMPACT THROUGHOUT THE ECONOMY - AFFECTING THE

OPERATIONS OF EXISTING INDUSTRIES AND CREATING NEW AND EXPANDED INDUSTRIES, PARTICULARLY IN THE SERVICE SECTOR.

BECAUSE OF THE VERY PERVASIVENESS OF THE IMPACT OF DEVELOPMENTS IN THESE

INDUSTRIES THEY PRESENT A CHALLENGE TO GOVERNMENTS AND TO THE COMMUNITY AT LARGE. THEY ARE GROWING MUCH FASTER THAN MOST OTHER INDUSTRIES. THUS,

THERE IS A NEED FOR GOVERNMENTS TO ADOPT POLICIES THAT ARE COGNISANT OF THE RAPID RATE OF CHANGE IN THESE INDUSTRIES.

MOREOVER, THE WAY WE APPROACH THE HANDLING, DISTRIBUTION, AND ANALYSIS OF INFORMATION BASES WILL AFFECT SO MANY ASPECTS OF OUR LIVES AND THE QUALITY

OF OUR DECISION MAKING.

I ASSURE YOU THAT I AM NOT ATTEMPTING TO MAKE AN ELECTION CAMPAIGN SPEECH,

AND BORE YOU WITH A LONG LIST OF OTHER GOVERNMENT DECISIONS. HOWEVER, IN ATTEMPTING TO GRAPPLE WITH THE PROBLEMS OF AUSTRALIAN INDUSTRY - TO STRIVE

FOR A MORE OUTWARD-LOOKING, COMPETITIVE SECTOR WHICH CAN HOLD ITS OWN IN THI FASTEST GROWING SECTOR OF WORLD TRADE - THERE HAVE BEEN A NUMBER OF OTHER

USEFUL DEVELOPMENTS.

WE HAVE PROVIDED MONEY IN THE LAST BUDGET TO ESTABLISH AN ADVISORY SERVICE ON COMPUTER ASSISTED MANUFACTURE. I AM CONVINCED THAT THERE IS A NEED TO

EXTEND COMPUTER ASSISTED DESIGN AND COMPUTER ASSISTED MANUFACTURING TECHNIQUES INTO INDUSTRY AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE.

BUT I AM VERY MUCH AWARE THAT THERE ARE ALL SORTS OF PROBLEMS IN MATCHING Ul· MANUFACTURING ESTABLISHMENTS WITH THE RIGHT SORT OF EQUIPMENT AND PLANKING ITS USE. THERE HAVE BEEN DISAPPOINTMENTS IN THE PAST WITH POOR DECISIONS.

I AM CONFIDENT THAT AN ADVISORY SERVICE, STRONGLY ORIENTED TOWARDS PRACTICAJ INDUSTRY PROBLEMS BY MEANS OF THE PEOPLE WHO RUN IT AND STAFF IT, WILL HELP ENORMOUSLY IN OVERCOMING PROBLEMS. AUSTRALIAN INDUSTRY HAS BEEN SLOW TO

TAKE L“' THESE TECHNIQUES, WHICH APPEAR TO BE WELL SUITED TO OUR. SCALE OF MANUFACTURE. WE NEED TO GET ON WITH IT.

WE HAVE ALSO TAKEN STEPS TO INFORM THE COMPUTER INDUSTRY WELL IN ADVANCE, 01 LIKELY GOVERNMENT PURCHASING REQUIREMENTS IN THE COMPUTER FIELD.

CHANGES HAVE ALSO BEEN MADE TO THE AUSTRALIAN INDUSTRIAL RESEARCH AND

DEVELOPMENT INCENTIVES SCHEME TO SPECIFICALLY INCLUDE COMPUTER SOFTWARE.

IN ADDITION, THERE ARE A NUMBER OF OTHER ISSUES IN WHICH CERTAIN ACTION HAS BEEN TAKEN. THESE PRINCIPALLY CONCERN THE QUESTION OF LEGAL PROTECTION OF SOFTWARE, AND THE OFFSETS QUESTION. -

THE COMMITTEE HEADED BY SIR BRIAN INGLIS TO REVIEW THE OPERATION AND

EFFECTIVENESS OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT’S OFFSETS PROGRAM IS TO REPORT SHORTLY. WE ARE VERY AWARE OF THE IMPORTANCE OF OFFSETS TO THE COMPUTER

INDUSTRY.

ON THE SOFTWARE QUESTION, ΑΜΜΕ NOME NTS TO THE COPYRIGHT ACT WERE ENACTED LAST

JUNE TO REMEDY THE PROBLEM REVEALED IN THE COURT JUDGEMENTS. BEYOND THAT,

PLANNING IS WELL ADVANCED FOR CONDUCTING AN INQUIRY INTO THE BROADER

QUESTION OF PROTECTION OF SOFTWARE. THERE HAS BEEN ADVOCACY OF A NUMBER OF QUITE DIFFERENT APPROACHES, AND THE INQUIRY IS INTENDED TO RESOLVE THESE

ISSUES.

I WOULD LIKE TO GIVE RECOGNITION TO THE CONSTRUCTIVE ROLE PLAYED BY ACESA IN MAKING SIGNIFICANT CONTRIBUTIONS TO THESE AND OTHER IMPORTANT ISSUES OVER

THE LAST YEAR.

THE GOVERNMENT PLACES A LOT OF EMPHASIS ON CONSULTATION AND IT IS PLEASING TO NOTE THAT THE EFFORTS BY GOVERNMENT AND INDUSTRY AND OTHERS HAVE ISOLATED

ISSUES, IDENTIFED PROBLEMS AND LED TO SOLUTIONS WHICH HAVE WIDESPREAD

SUPPORT.

I BELIEVE THAT THE COMPUTER INDUSTRY HAS A GREAT FUTURE IN AUSTRALIA. WHILE THE CONDITIONS WHICH HAVE ALREADY BEEN SET ARE IMPORTANT, THERE ARE A NUMBER OF PROBLEMS PECULIAR TO THE AUSTRALIAN SCENE WHICH NEED TO BE OVERCOME.

IN GENERAL, THE LOCAL INFRASTRUCTURE IS POORLY DEVELOPED COMPARED WITH

OVERSEAS ELECTRONICS INDUSTRIES, PARTICULARLY IN THE AREA OF SUB-;; ■ . ■ ; > · . · · · < . * . ■ ! ■ * · Γ » ' ’ · .

CONTRACTING. MANY AUSTRALIAN FIRMS ARE FORCED TO UNDERTAKE THE BULK OF

ACTIVITY THEMSELVES AND CANNOT JUSTIFY INVESTMENT IN LABOUR SAVING AND DUALITY ENHANCING EQUIPMENT. .

NOR IS THERE A GREAT DEAL OF ELECTRONIC DESIGN UNDERTAKEN. LOCALLY.

CONSEQUENTLY, AUSTRALIAN MANUFACTURERS ARE DISADVANTAGED RELATIVE TO OVERSEAS MANUFACTURERS THROUGH SUPPLY PROBLEMS AND LACK OF DESIGN SUPPORT.

THERE IS NO QUICK AND EASY SOLUTION TO THESE PROBLEMS. THEY WILL BE OVERCOME ONLY THROUGH GROWTH OF THE INFORMATION INDUSTRIES IN AN OPEN

COMPETITIVE a t m o s p h e r e .

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HOWEVER, THE POLICY FIELD ON INFORMATION INDUSTRIES IS RELATIVELY OPEN, AND THERE ARE SUGGESTIONS BEING MADE WHICH BEAR ON THESE PROBLEMS. FOR

INSTANCE, IT HAS BEEN SUGGESTED BY THE AUSTRALIAN MANUFACTURERS THAT IARGE GOVERNMENT CONTRACTS SHOULD BE OFFERED FOR TENDER IN SMALLER UNITS. THAT

IS, INSTEAD OF A MAINFRAME COMPUTER SUPPLIER BEING RESPONSIBLE FOR SUPPLY OF ALL PEREFFERALS, THAT THE LATTER SHOULD BE SEPARATELY OFFERED, AND FURTHER,

AS MUCH FLEXIBILITY AS POSSIBLY SHOULD BE BUILT INTO THE SUPPLY OF THE SOFTWARE.

ON THE FACE OF IT, THIS PROPOSAL IS ATTRACTIVE, IN VIEW OF THE SMALL SIZE OF

THE MANUFACTURERS IN AUSTRALIA. THEY WOULD BE ABLE TO COPE WITH PIECES OF A SYSTEM, BUT NOT, PERHAPS, WITH WHOLE SYSTEMS.

I BELIEVE THAT THIS SUGGESTION WARRANTS FURTHER DEVELOPING. HOWEVER, WE DO NOT WISH TO INTRODUCE ANY LARGE IMPLICIT SUBSIDY TO ANY SECTION OF THE INDUSTRY, BY WAY OF ANY KIND OF RESERVATION OF MARKET SHARE. THAT WOULD BE

COUNTER TO OUR PHILOSOPHY OF TRYING TO CREATE AN OPEN, COMPETITIVE INDUSTRY. I WOULD BE INTERESTED IN LEARNING FROM YOUR ORGANISATION ON THIS

QUESTION.

I HAVE NOTED THAT YOU HAVE DRAWN ATTENTION TO DIFFICULTIES CREATED FOR INDUSTRY IN HAVING TO DEAL WITH MANY GOVERNMENT AGENCIES IN THE CONTEXT OF

INDUSTRY POLICY.

WE RECOGNISE THESE DIFFICULTIES AND THE CONSEQUENT IMPORTANCE OF CO­ ORDINATING ALL THE EXISTING GOVERNMENT INITIATIVES TO ENSURE THAT EACH IS

MOVING TO ACHIEVE OUR INDUSTRY OBJECTIVES.

I TAKE HEED OF THESE CRITICISMS. THEY DO BEAR SENSIBLY ON QUESTIONS OF GOVERNMENT ORGANISATION. ASIDE FROM THAT I SEE THE DESIRABILTY OF A POLICY STATEMENT BY THE GOVERNMENT ON THE INFORMATION INDUSTRIES EARLY NEXT YEAR, DRAWING TOGETHER MANY FACETS OF GOVERNMENT POLICIES FOR THE INFORMATION

INDUSTRIES.

I NOTE THAT YOUR SEMINAR THIS AFTERNOON WAS ON EDUCATION. WHILE THIS AREA IS NOT WITHIN MY MINISTERIAL AREA, I ASSURE YOU THAT I AM VERY SUPPORTIVE OF THE NEED FOR MORE TRAINING IN THE COMPUTER FIELD. I HAVE BEEN AN ADVOCATE OF THIS FOR A GOOD MANY YEARS, AND I ASSURE YOU THAT I WILL DO ALL IN MY

POWER TO BRING IT ABOUT.

BY WAY OF CONCLUSION, LET ME SAY HOW PLEASING IT IS TO SEE AN INCREASING INVOLVEMENT OF ACESA'S MEMBER COMPANIES IN ACTIVITIES BEYOND MARKETING, WITH

SOME SUBSTANTIAL SOURCING OF LOCALLY DEVELOPED SOFTWARE FOR INTERNATIONAL m t . r>T'T'm c A c c r w p r v η τ p p n n r r T . Q a \ τ η ς η Μ Ρ d c c t t r τ ν τ ; .

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I BELIEVE THAT THE GOVERNMENT HAS MOVED A SIGNIFICANT WAY TOWARDS DEVELOPING

A FRAMEWORK FOR INDUSTRY DEVELOPMENT IN THIS AREA. AS I HAVE MENTIONED,

THERE ARE FURTHER ISSUES TO BE CONSIDERED, BUT I BELIEVE THAT THE CURRENT

ECONOMIC ENVIRONMENT PROVIDES REAL OPPORTUNITIES, BOTH WITHIN AUSTRALIA AND

THE REGION. YOUR COMPANIES SHOULD BE ABLE TO CAREFULLY EXAMINE THE

PROSPECTS FOR NEW VALUE ADDING ACTIVITIES, THAT WILL CONTRIBUTE TO BOTH OUR

NATIONAL INDUSTRY DEVELOPMENT AND TO YOUR CORPORATE DEVELOPMENT.