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Howard Government fails manufacturing sector.

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Friday 2 February 2007


Today’s Australian Industry Group (AIG)/PricewaterhouseCoopers Australian Performance of Manufacturing Index (PMI) results demonstrate the continuous failings of the Howard Government to adequately support the manufacturing industry within our economy, Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Industry and Innovation Bernie Ripoll said today.

The latest PMI results show that growth in this sector has slowed by 1.1 points falling to 51.3 as at January 2007.

“How much longer can the Federal Government ignore the manufacturing industry? Or must they wait until it is officially in decline to be pro-active on this issue?” Mr Ripoll said.

While an index figure above 50 indicates generally healthy growth, the recent sharp decline indicates added pressure on Australian manufacturing during early 2007 and is attributed largely to the negative impact of higher interest rates and continuing losses in market share to lower cost producers.

“I would like to echo the sentiments of AIG CEO Heather Ridout, that the recent demand downturn highlights the need for Australian manufacturing to continue to become more innovative and invest in higher skills in order to compete on the world stage in the face of lower cost producers.

The Howard Government has let manufacturing down on interest rates and the provision of both skilled labour and infrastructure.

The current shortages of skilled labour again highlight the need for the Federal Government to focus seriously on skills and education. ” Mr Ripoll said.

Perhaps more important to the long-term, the results of the latest Australian PMI demonstrate the continuing imperative for government in Australia to provide the right environment, incentive and support for innovation in manufacturing and industry in general.

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Media contact: Bernie Ripoll MP (0418 763 351) Media Release