Secretary of the AMWU Queensland Andrew Dettmer says that statistics showing Queensland’s manufacturing industry has contracted further are serious cause for concern.
Figures from latest Australian Industry Group/PricewaterhouseCoopers Australian Performance of Manufacturing Index (Australian PMI) show the industry nationally grew very slightly in October.
“Nationally, growth has been small and has only occurred in Western Australia, New South Wales and Victoria,” Mr Dettmer said.
“Those figures go to show that there’s still a lot of work to do in Queensland, where growth has been negative.
“The fact is that manufacturing faces an increasingly limited future unless more can be done by State Government to support and bolster local industry.”
While Queensland has a policy which mandates Local Industry Participation Plans, Mr Dettmer believes it may be lulling many Queenslanders into a false sense of security.
“The Queensland Government's Local Industry Policy, which was established in 1999 to give ‘full, fair, and reasonable opportunity for Queensland business to participate in major projects’, is failing Queensland manufacturers,” he said.
“The fundamental flaw in the policy is that a product counts towards local content if it’s maintained locally, even if it was manufactured overseas.
“So, components brought in from China and maintained by a Queenslander are counting towards local content which inflates the figures and lulls the public into a false sense of security that our manufacturing industry is a lot healthier than it actually is.”
The AMWU’s Manufacturing Matters campaign, designed in part to encourage stronger growth of the manufacturing industry through procurement initiatives, continues to strengthen.
“We’re 100 percent sure there’s a strong future for manufacturing in Queensland,” Mr Dettmer said.
“We need to turn these negative growth figures around and the sooner the better.”