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Can we still be a nation that makes things?

7 Mar 2012

AMWU’s Tim Ayres explains why we need to invest in manufacturing.

Can we still be a nation that make things? This was the call that Kevin Rudd put out on election night 2007 – but turning good intention into effective policy has proven elusive. Through the first decade of the 21st century, we have witnessed a stream of closures of factories and the offshoring of iconic Australian brands from Victa to Campbell Soups. But there are still over one million australians employed in manufacturing – nearly five times the employment of the mining industry. So is the manufacturing industry worth saving – and if so, what role should the government play?