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Howes On Industry Planning

27 Jul 2012

Paul Howes speaks today on industrial strategy at the Queensland Media Club at 1.20pm. Here is an excerpt of the speech to be given obtained exclusively by the Broadside Blog.

Tonight, of course, is the opening ceremony of the London Olympics.

I’m sure that many of us will be having some late nights over the next three weeks watching our Aussie athletes go for gold.

After the Tour de France, it’s probably the last thing our sleep-deprived nation needs.

But while your enjoying the Games, and barracking for Mitchell Watt and Sally Pearson, think about this:

Australia’s Olympic Games campaign is actually a classic example of how Australia can do industry planning really well.

We set national objectives – like finishing in the top five of the medal count.

We pick winners – focusing on areas where we have a competitive strength, like swimming.

We invest in R & D – engaging the best sports scientists, and supporting our elite athletes through the Australian Institute of Sport.

We even build an elite training centre in Northern Italy, with all be best high-tech equipment – so our athletes can have a European base during the Australian winter

We don’t question the need for public investment in our Olympic effort – we accept that it’s necessary for success.

In sport, Australians play to win, and we don’t apologise for being successful.

Yet when it comes to our income and job-generating industries, we expect them to stand or fall on their own two feet.

Well, the AWU doesn’t want to see Australian industry lose.

We want Australian industry to be winning gold medals, not just digging them up.