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Speech by the minister for productivity to the first south pacific diecasting congress



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Da,e 10 March 1960

Minister for >roductivity

Media Release Number 80/9

SPEECH BY TIiS MINISTER FOR PRODUCTIVITY, MR KEVIN NEWMAN TO THE FIRST SOUTH PACIFIC DIECASTING CONGRESS

MONDAY, 10 MARCH, at HILTON HOTEL, MELBOURNE

MR PRESIDENT, MR CHAIRMAN, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN. THANK YOU FOR INVITING ME TO ATTEND THIS INTERNATIONAL RECEPTION AND FOR THE OPPORTUNITY TO DESCRIBE SOME OF THE WAYS IN WHICH THE AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENT IS HELPING TO RAISE THE LEVEL OF THE TECHNOLOGY USED BY MANUFACTURING INDUSTRY.

THIS CONGRESS IS BEING HELD AT AN IMPORTANT TIME FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF AUSTRALIAN MANUFACTURING INDUSTRY. AFTER A LONG PERIOD OF CONSIDERABLE DIFFICULTY, AUSTRALIAN MANUFACTURING INDUSTRY IS NOW BECOMING INCREASINGLY COMPETITIVE IN WORLD MARKETS. OPPORTUNITIES ARE AVAILABLE TO IT TO EXPAND

AND TAKE ITS RIGHTFUL PLACE AS A MAJOR CONTRIBUTOR TO THE WEALTH AND PROSPERITY OF THE COUNTRY.

I BELIEVE THAT THE GOVERNMENT'S POLICIES FOR ASSISTING INDUSTRY AND FOR CREATING AN ENVIRONMENT FAVOURABLE TO INDUSTRIAL ACTIVITY ARE NOW HAVING THEIR EFFECT. GIVEN ENTHUSIASM AND HARD WORK ON ALL SIDES, WE CAN LOOK

FORWARD WITH CONFIDENCE AND OPTIMISM TO THE DECADE OF THE EIGHTIES.

A MAJOR ELEMENT IN INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT AND EXPANSION IS THE EFFECTIVE UTILISATION OF THE LATEST TECHNOLOGY AND. THAT, OF COURSE, IS A MATTER OF DIRECT CONCERN TO MY DEPARTMENT. THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE DEPARTMENT OF PRODUCTIVITY AS A SEPARATE DEPARTMENT IN NOVEMBER 1976 WAS A CLEAR INDICATION OF THE IMPORTANCE WHICH THE GOVERNMENT ATTACHED TO THE CREATION OF POSITIVE PROGRAMS AIMED AT IMPROVING THE COMPETITIVENESS OF MANUFACTURING INDUSTRY. THE SUBSTANTIAL AND INCREASING LEVEL OF FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE WHICH THE GOVERNMENT HAS MADE AVAILABLE TO INDUSTRY THROUGH THE PROGRAMS OF MY DEPARTMENT, PARTICULARLY THE INDUSTRIAL RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT INCENTIVES SCHEME, BUT ALSO IN MANY OTHER IMPORTANT WAYS. IS A MEASURE OF THE GOVERNMENT'S CONTINUING COMMITMENT TO THE STRENGTHENING OF THIS VITAL SECTOR OF THE ECONOMY. '

THE DIECASTING INDUSTRY l'S PARTICULARLY IMPORTANT IN THIS REGARD. IT IS AN INDUSTRY TO WHICH TECHNOLOGY HAS MUCH TO OFFER. IT IS ALSO ONE WHERE THE CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES OF TECHNOLOGY ARE BEING SQUARELY CONFRONTED. THE VERY SUCCESSFUL PROGRAM OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT WHICH HAS BEEN UNDERTAKEN BY THE CSIRO, WITH SUPPORT FROM THE INTERNATIONAL LEAD

ZINC RESEARCH ORGANIZATION AND MAJOR MINING COMPANIES, AND THE ENTHUSIASM WITH WHICH YOUR INDUSTRY HAS PARTICIPATED IN THIS WORK, PROVIDES A VALUABLE EXAMPLE OF WHAT CAN BE ACHIEVED. IT IS AN EXAMPLE WHICH I HOPE MANY OTHER SECTORS OF MANUFACTURING INDUSTRY WILL FOLLOW. THE RAPID IMPLEMENTATION OF RESEARCH RESULTS, WHICH WAS ACHIEVED THROUGH COOPERATIVE EFFORT BY THE

CSIRO, THE AUSTRALIAN ZINC DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATION, ZINC PRODUCERS AND THE DIECASTING INDUSTRY, IS PARTICULARLY WORTHY OF NOTE.

MUCH OF AUSTRALIAN MANUFACTURING INDUSTRY IS MADE UP OF SMALL COMPANIES, IN MOST CASES TOO SMALL TO ENGAGE IN ANY SUBSTANTIAL RESEARCH AND

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DEVELOPMENT ACTIVITY. HOWEVER, THESE SMALL COMPANIES ARE CONFRONTED WITH THE SAME TECHNOLOGICAL CHALLENGES AS ARE THE MAJOR ORGANISATIONS. THERE ARE WAYS IN WHICH THESE CHALLENGES CAN BE MET AND GOVERNMENT ASSISTANCE IS AVAILABLE, EITHER.TO INDIVIDUAL COMPANIES OR TO GROUPS OF ..COMPANIES. .

COMMENCEMENT GRANTS, WHICH FORM PART OF THE INDUSTRIAL RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT INCENTIVES SCHEME, ARE DESIGNED TO ENCOURAGE COMPANIES TO . EMPLOY AT LEAST ONE TECHNICALLY QUALIFIED OR EXPERIENCED STAFF MEMBER AND TO ENGAGE IN SOME PROGRAM FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OR APPLICATION OF

TECHNOLOGY. INDUSTRIAL COMPANIES CAN RECEIVE GRANTS OF UP TO $25,000 A YEAR FOR SUCH PURPOSES, COVERING 50% OF APPROVED EXPENDITURE. . ■ "

RESEARCH ASSOCIATIONS PROVIDE ANOTHER MEANS BY WHICH SMALL COMPANIES CAN ■ IMPROVE THEIR ACCESS TO EXISTING TECHNOLOGY AND SHARE THE COSTS OF DEVELOPING NEW TECHNOLOGY. AGAIN, THERE ARE WAYS IN WHICH THE GOVERNMENT CAN ASSIST: THE CS1R0 MAKES GRANTS OF OVER $800,000 A YEAR TO APPROVED RESEARCH ASSOCIATJONS.

THE DEPARTMENT OF PRODUCTIVITY IS DEVELOPING A COMPREHENSIVE RANGE OF PROGRAMS, INTENDED TO PROVIDE SUPPORT TO MANUFACTURING INDUSTRY AT EVERY POINT WHERE IT IS NEEDED. I HAVE ALREADY MENTIONED THE INDUSTRIAL RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT INCENTIVES SCHEME AND MANY OF YOU WILL NO. DOUBT BE AWARE THAT A CONTRACT WAS RECENTLY LET UNDER THE PUBLIC INTEREST PROVISIONS OF THIS SCHEME FOR A RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM IN THE PRESSURE DIECASTING OF BRASS.

PUBLIC INTEREST, OR SECTION 39, GRANTS ARE A FORM OF GOVERNMENT CONTRACTING TO INDUSTRY. COMPANIES ARE INVITED TO SUBMIT PROPOSALS FOR MAJOR RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMS WHICH WILL HAVE GENERAL APPLICATION TO A LARGE SECTOR OF INDUSTRY OR WHICH WILL ALLOW THE DEVELOPMENT AND COMMERCIAL

EXPLOITATION OF SOME SIGNIFICANT AUSTRALIAN INVENTION OR RESEARCH RESULT.

THE GOVERNMENT IS ALREADY SUPPORTING A NUMBER OF MAJOR PROGRAMS IN THIS WAY, INCLUDING THE INTERSCAN MICROWAVE LANDING SYSTEM, AN IMPLANTABLE HEARING PROSTHESIS, BASED ON WORK CARRIED OUT AT THE UNIVERSITY OF MELBOURNE, AND A DEVELOPMENT AND DEMONSTRATION PROJECT IN WATER TREATMENT BASED ON CSIRO RESEARCH. '

THE BRASS DIECASTING PROJECT, WILL LAST FOR TWO YEARS AND WILL BE UNDERTAKEN BY LUKE AND SINGER PTY. LTD., WORKING IN COLLABORATION WITH . CSIRO. ITS MAIN OBJECTIVE IS THE FURTHER DEVELOPMENT OF WORK ON METAL FLOW TECHNIQUES CARRIED OUT BY CSIRO IN CONNECTION WITH ZINC DIECASTING. HOWEVER, IT WILL ALSO INCLUDE OTHER TECHNICAL ASPECTS OF DESIGN AND

PRODUCTION. IT WILL DRAW HEAVILY UPON THE EXPERTISE WHICH CSIRO HAVE ■ DEVELOPED IN THIS AREA AND WILL MAKE USE OF CSIRO EQUIPMENT.

AS WELL AS THE DESIGN OF FEED SYSTEMS AND DIES, THE PROJECT WILL COVER IMPROVED MACHINE CONTROL, THE INTRODUCTION OF AUTOMATED QUALITY CONTROL PROCEDURES, DIRECT MELTING TECHNIQUES AND MODIFIED ALLOY COMPOSITION TO ACHIEVE IMPROVED CASTING PROPERTIES.

BY ADOPTING A SYSTEMATIC APPROACH TO THE COMPLETE DIECASTING PROCESS, THIS PROJECT WILL GO BEYOND ANY PREVIOUS RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT WORK UNDERTAKEN IN THE INDUSTRY.

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THE RESULTS OF THE PROJECT WILL BE MADE AVAILABLE TO ALL AUSTRALIAN DIECASTING FIRMS. IT IS EXPECTED THAT THE ECONOMIC VIABILITY OF THE BRASS DIECASTING INDUSTRY IN AUSTRALIA WILL BE GREATLY IMPROVED, BOTH BY EXTENDING THE RANGE OF PRODUCTS WHICH CAN BE MANUFACTURED BY THIS PROCESS

AND BY ACHIEVING HIGHER PRODUCTIVITY THROUGHOUT THE INDUSTRY.

I AM PARTICULARLY INTERESTED IN THE USE WHICH IS TO BE MADE IN THIS PROJECT OF COMPUTER AIDED DESIGN AND COMPUTER AIDED MANUFACTURE. THESE ARE AREAS WHERE EVERY EFFORT MUST BE MADE TO STAY ABREAST OF, OR EVEN AHEAD OF, OVERSEAS COMPETITORS. THE OPPORTUNITIES FOR COST REDUCTION THROUGH THE APPLICATION OF THESE TECHNIQUES ARE SO GREAT THAT TO DROP BEHIND' COULD

BE TO DROP OUT OF WORLD MARKETS. THE ROLE OF DIECASTING COMPANIES AS SUPPLIERS TO THE MOTOR INDUSTRY, AND THE EMERGENCE THERE OF WORLD CAR CONCEPTS, WILL INEVITABLY MEAN THAT THE PRESSURE OF INTERNATIONAL COMPETITION WILL INCREASE. NOW IS THE TIME TO DEVELOP THE DIECASTING INDUSTRY TO MEET THIS CHALLENGE..

ANOTHER PROGRAM, SUPPORTED BY MY DEPARTMENT, WHICH HAS DIRECT APPLICATION TO THE DIECASTING INDUSTRY, IS THE TECHNICAL REFERRAL NETWORK NOW BEING ESTABLISHED BY THE TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER COUNCIL. ·

THE TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER COUNCIL ADVISORY BOARD WAS ESTABLISHED IN 1978 AND CONSISTS OF REPRESENTATIVES OF OVER THIRTY-FIVE ORGANISATIONS HAVING . A PROFESSIONAL OR COMMERCIAL INTEREST IN THE APPLICATION OF TECHNOLOGY

IN MANUFACTURING INDUSTRY. IT HAS DEVELOPED A PROGRAM FOR THE ESTABLISHMENT OF TECHNICAL REFERRAL CENTRES THROUGHOUT AUSTRALIA, STAFFED BY EXPERT TECHNICAL LIAISON OFFICERS. THESE OFFICERS WILL PROVIDE A BRIDGING. SERVICE BETWEEN SPECIALISTS IN UNIVERSITIES AND IN GOVERNMENT' AND INDUSTRIAL RESEARCH LABORATORIES AND THE INDUSTRIAL USERS OF TECHNOLOGY. THE PROGRAM IS BEING UNDERTAKEN BY A COMPANY SPECIALLY FORMED FOR THE PURPOSE AND WILL OPERATE FOR THE FIRST THREE YEARS ON A PILOT SCALE IN THE METAL INDUSTRY. THE DIRECTOR OF THE NETWORK, WHO TOOK UP HIS DUTIES AT THE BEGINNING OF THIS YEAR, IS DR IAN BRAMMAR, FORMERLY OF BHP'S MELBOURNE RESEARCH LABORATORIES. I UNDERSTAND, THAT DR BRAMMAR IS TO DELIVER A PAPER TO THIS CONGRESS.

THE PARTICULAR IMPORTANCE OF THE TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER COUNCIL TO THE DIECASTING INDUSTRY ARISES BECAUSE OF THE TECHNICAL REFERRAL CENTRES WHICH WILL BE LOCATED AT THE LABORATORIES OF THE CSIRO DIVISION. OF MANUFACTURING TECHNOLOGY AND WILL SPECIALISE IN DIECASTING TECHNOLOGY. THE TECHNICAL LIAISON OFFICER ASSIGNED TO THIS CENTRE WILL BE ABLE TO DRAW UPON THE EXPERTISE AVAILABLE WITHIN THE CSIRO LABORATORIES AND WILL SEEK TO WORK CLOSELY WITH EXISTING INDUSTRY ASSOCIATIONS. NO DOUBT DR BRAMMAR WILL ENLARGE ON THE SERVICES WHICH THE CENTRE WILL PROVIDE.

I BEGAN BY SAYING THAT THIS IS A TIME OF OPTIMISM AND OPPORTUNITY FOR . AUSTRALIAN INDUSTRY AND I WOULD LIKE TO END ON THAT THEME. HOWEVER, THESE OPPORTUNITIES CAN ONLY BE REALISED IN A WORLD CONTEXT. 1 AM CONSCIOUS THAT THIS IS AN INTERNATIONAL GATHERING AND 1 THINK IT IS APPROPRIATE TO COMMENT ON THE INTERRELATEDNESS OF MANUFACTURING INDUSTRIES AROUND THE WORLD. WHILE WE TEND TO REGARD OVERSEAS INDUSTRIES AS OUR COMPETITORS, WE MUST REMEMBER THAT THEY ARE ALSO OUR PARTNERS, NOT ONLY IN THE SENSE THAT THEY INVEST IN AUSTRALIA, BUT IN THAT OUR ABILITY TO EXPORT IS DEPENDENT UPON OTHER PEOPLE'S ABILITY TO BUY, UPON OTHER PEOPLE'S PROSPERITY.

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I HOPE. THAT THIS CONGRESS WILL BE. SUCCESSFUL ,. NOT.X'NLX. IN - AIDING.. THE . . . ,· . DEVELOPMENT OF AN IMPORTANT SECTOR OF AUSTRALIAN MANUFACTURING INDUSTRY, BUT ALSO IN ESTABLISHING AND STRENGTHENING LINKS WITH PEOPLE. WITH SIMILAR INTERESTS THROUGHOUT THE WORLD. ■ · ■ - ■ ■ '

Further information from Roy Muir .

. Minister's Office (026) 733233

. . Win Monday . ’

. Department of Productivity (026) 482809