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Local Manufacturing Means Jobs

It's fair to say that this year has changed the game.

It's as simple as that and even more relevant now as Australia deals with the impact of Covid-19.

A report by the Australian Industry Group (AIG) last year found that local manufacturing employed nearly a million people in Australia across 47,530 registered companies. The Ai Group report found that the Australian manufacturing industry was the seventh largest industry when it comes to employing Australians.

In 2018 5.7 per cent of Australia's GDP (104.9 billion) was from local manufacturing. It is a far cry from in the 1950s when local manufacturing accounted for 30 per cent of Australian GDP, but the world was a different place back then.

The Ai Group says a number of factors, including the last few decades China becoming "the world's factory," and the collapse of the automotive manufacturing industry in Australia has led to challenging times. But now more than ever because of Covid-19 and the impact the pandemic will have on jobs and the economy's recovery for years to come, local manufacturing is vitally important.

It's fair to say this year and what we are dealing with now has changed the game.

There were signs before Victoria's latest lockdown, Lockdown 2.0, as it is now known, that the local manufacturing industry was on the road to recovery. Despite all the challenges, there was confidence in the industry.

"Manufacturing performance edged ahead in June largely on the back of a solid lift in the large food and beverages sector as restrictions on cafes and restaurants were eased," Ai Group Chief Executive Officer Innes Willox said on July 1.

"The machinery and equipment sector enjoyed a spike in sales associated with the end of financial year buyers taking advantage of the expanded instant asset write-off provisions.

"The building materials, metals and chemicals sectors remained in contraction.

"Across the manufacturing sector, production lifted and encouragingly new orders rebounded strongly following sharp contractions in April and May.

"Employment on the other hand merely stabilised after the contractions of the previous two months."

The impact on the national economy from Victoria's Lockdown 2.0 remains to be seen, but June's figures were encouraging for everyone as restrictions were beginning to be lifted.

We all need to get behind the local manufacturing industry now more than ever as we continue to work our way through the horror that has been Covid-19… because those Australian jobs are so incredibly important.


Media and journalism has been in Luke Dennehy's blood ever since he started at the Herald Sun in Melbourne as an editorial assistant at 19 years of age. Luke worked for nearly 20 years at the Herald Sun reporting entertainment and lifestyle news before leaving in 2017 to pursue freelance opportunities. He also had many regular spots on radio and TV over the years, most recently on Melbourne radio station 3AW.  A passionate advocate for Australian music, food, entertainment and business, he is excited to share some of those inspiring stories along the way.


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