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Productivity improvement - extracts from address to business executives



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MINISTER FOR PRODUCTIVITY

PARLIAMENT HOUSE

CANBERRA, A.C.T. 2600

MEDIA RELEASE EMBARGOED - 8.00 PM, MARCH 11.

EXTRACTS FROM AN ADDRESS BY IAN MACPHEE, MINISTER FOR PRODUCTIVITY, TO BUSINESS EXECUTIVES IN THE ELECTORATE OF KINGSTON, S.A. IN SUPPORT OF LOCAL MEMBER MR GRANT CHAPMAN

LONG TERM PROSPECTS OF FULL EMPLOYMENT DEPEND UPON IMPROVED PRODUCTIVITY. THERE ARE DOZENS OF WAYS IN WHICH MANAGEMENT AND LABOUR CAN CO-OPERATE IN ORDER TO REDUCE THE UNIT COSTS OF PRODUCTION. IN TACKLING THEIR MUTUAL TASKS MANAGEMENT AND LABOUR ARE ENTITLED TO EXPECT THAT GOVERNMENTS, BOTH FEDERAL AND STATE, WILL ADOPT POLICIES WHICH WILL POSITIVELY ASSIST

THE IMPROVEMENT OF PRODUCTIVITY. .

MANY EMPLOYEES FEAR THAT PRODUCTIVITY IMPROVEMENT WILL COME LARGELY FROM MACHINES REPLACING PEOPLE AND THAT THE MORE WE . IMPROVE OUR PRODUCTIVITY THE MORE UNEMPLOYMENT WILL BE CREATED. IN ORDER TO ENSURE THAT THIS DOES NOT HAPPEN, FEDERAL AND

STATE GOVERNMENTS MUST ADOPT POLICIES WHICH ENABLE INDUSTRY TO ADJUST TO FURTHER TECHNOLOGICAL CHANGE AT A RATE WHICH DOES NOT CAUSE MORE UNEMPLOYMENT. .

MANY OF OUR CURRENT UNEMPLOYMENT PROBLEMS ARE STRUCTURAL AND IN THE RESTRUCTURING OF INDUSTRY ATTENTION MUST BE GIVEN TO THE RATE OF CHANGE BOTH WITH REGARD TO IMPROVED TECHNOLOGY AND THE RETRAINING OF PERSONS ABLE TO WORK WITH THAT NEW TECHNOLOGY.

THE OBJECT OF ALL PROGRAMS OF CAPITAL INVESTMENT, IMPROVED TECHNOLOGY AND RETRAINING OF LABOUR OUGHT TO BE THAT PEOPLE WORK MORE EFFECTIVELY - NOT THAT THEY WORK HARDER IN A PHYSICAL SENSE. IN FACT, IN A CHALLENGING JOB WITH A COMFORTABLE WORKING ENVIRONMENT MANY PEOPLE WILL WORK MORE CONSCIENTIOUSLY AND, IN THAT SENSE, MAY WORK HARDER BECAUSE THE FRUSTRATIONS '

STEMMING FROM THEIR PRESENT JOB MAY HAVE BEEN GREATLY REDUCED.

AT PRESENT AUSTRALIAN INDUSTRY MAY BE SAID TO BE RUNNING ON THE SPOT. OVER THE NEXT FEW YEARS IT WILL BE NECESSARY FOR THE SEVEN GOVERNMENTS TO CO-OPERATE IN ELIMINATING THE OBSTACLES TO BALANCED INVESTMENT IN ALL SECTORS OF INDUSTRY AND TO IMPLEMENT THOROUGH PROGRAMS FOR THE RETRAINING OF EMPLOYEES.

THE DEPARTMENT OF PRODUCTIVITY WILL BE THE ARM BY WHICH THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT WILL SEEK TO HAVE THIS CO-OPERATION WITH THE STATES AND WITH MANAGEMENT AND THE TRADE UNIONS. THE RESPONSE TO THE CREATION OF THE DEPARTMENT HAS BEEN POSITIVE

FROM ALL RELEVANT ORGANISATIONS AND INSTITUTIONS IN THE COMMUNITY AND I AM CONFIDENT THAT A SUFFICIENT NUMBER OF PEOPLE WILL RECOGNIZE THAT THERE IS A MUTUAL SELF-INTEREST IN REMOVING OBSTACLES TO PRODUCTIVITY IMPROVEMENT AND IN DESIGNING

POLICIES WHICH ENABLE AUSTRALIAN INDUSTRY TO ADOPT MORE MODERN TECHNOLOGY WHILE AT THE SAME TIME ENABLING US TO HAVE FULL EMPLOYMENT AND TO HAVE MORE PERSONS EMPLOYED IN SATISFYING JOBS. .

ENDS