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Industry Productivity Centres to open doors in September.

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18 September, 2007


Australian Industry Productivity Centres (AIPC) are a step closer to opening their doors for business with the appointment today of state managers, Australian Industry Minister, Ian Macfarlane, said.

"With the AIPCs due to open from late September, I'm pleased to welcome on board the state managers for the Queensland, Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia productivity centres. Managers for Tasmania and NSW will be announced shortly," Mr Macfarlane said.

“Our state AIPC managers have the practical, hands-on experience to assist small to medium businesses improve their productivity. They have a strong mix of private and public sector backgrounds and know how businesses tick.

“The Howard Government has committed $351.8 million over the next 10 years to establishing and operating the productivity centres as part of Global Integration, the Government's 10-year $1.4 billion Industry Statement.

"The AIPCs will provide a free diagnostic service to help firms identify opportunities to improve performance with funding of up to $20,000 available for a specialist consultant to facilitate change.”

The AIPC state managers appointed today include: • Queensland - Mr Garry Butler. Mr Butler's last appointment was as Commercial Services and Business Development Manager for BSES Ltd, prior to which he was a Management Consulting Partner with PricewaterhouseCoopers. • Victoria - Mr Rod Nelson. Mr Nelson has held senior positions in the aviation industry,

leading a project team to set up Virgin Blue's Trans Pacific Service. He was formerly the CEO of Papua New Guinea's national airline Air Nuigini, and has also held senior positions in the manufacturing and public sectors. • South Australia - Mr Kenneth Taplin. Mr Taplin's background is in financial services and has joined the AIPC from the SA Centre for Innovation, where his role was focussed on assisting innovative SMEs to increase their business growth. • Western Australia - Ms Su-Lin Kwa. Ms Kwa is a lawyer and has a strong background in SME development issues. Ms Kwa joins the program from her current role as Western Australian State Manager of AusIndustry.

There will be six productivity centres, with the appointments of state managers in NSW and Tasmania still to be made. Partner organisations with the AIPCs, which were announced on 10 August, will ensure that AIPC services are available to all businesses in metropolitan and regional areas.