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Articles on Australian manufacturing

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Show Works, based in the Melbourne suburb of Preston, makes dance floors, dance equipment and theatre scenery. Andrew Warren, used with permission

Three ways to fix the problems caused by rezoning inner-city industrial land for mixed-use apartments

Rezoning to mixed-use residential development drove small manufacturers and creative producers out of the inner city. The result is less diversity of land uses, jobs and services where we most want it.
Manufacturing’s share of Australia’s gross domestic product has fallen from 12.9% in 1979 to 6.2%. Image sourced at

Australia’s ‘five pillar economy’ - manufacturing

There is a future for manufacturing in Australia - but we need to follow some international lessons to build a competitive knowledge-based economy.
The Abbott government is preparing to lay out its plan to support Australian industries to compete globally. Ben Macmahon/AAP

A thinking country’s guide to competing on the global stage

With major employers heading offshore and employment numbers decimated, what will emerge from the ashes of Australia’s manufacturing industry? And what role should manufacturing play in the federal government’s…
Canada faces similar pressures on its car industry, but its approach has been opposite to that of Australia. AAP/Paul Osborne

Canada and Australia: a tale of two car industries

As Australian prime minister Tony Abbott arrives in Canada to talk investment and trade, both countries are facing similar challenges to their respective manufacturing bases, particularly in the automotive…
In China, there has been a shift away from traditional textile and clothing to computers and communications. AAP/EPA/SHEPHERD ZHOU CHINA OUT

As India and China transform, Australian manufacturers must follow

As Australia laments the decline of its manufacturing sector, China is actively taking steps to accelerate its move up the value chain. Historically a low-cost operating environment, China was once an…
Business has agitated for change, but is now wary of the negative impact of a tough budget.

The state of Australia: business

In the lead up to the budget, the story of crisis has been hammered home, but there’s more to a country than its structural deficit. So how is Australia doing overall? In this special series, ten writers…
Australia’s loss of economic complexity is leading to a primitive economy in which the nation’s share of the value of its products shrinks and living standards fall. Marija Piliponyte/Shutterstock

For want of industry policy, our living standards are set to fall

Australia faces a fall in living standards unless policy action is taken. This is due to de-industrialisation and loss of economic complexity. The higher the economic complexity, the stronger the economy’s…
Manufacturing businesses involved in the car industry are facing tough decisions. AAP

What does diversification really mean for our auto sector?

The recent decisions by Ford, Holden and Toyota to cease manufacturing in Australia have raised serious concerns for the thousands of Australian businesses who work in the automotive supply chain. Manufacturers…
A mini power plant in a North Sydney basement. Trigeneration plants like these generate electricity, heating and cooling far more efficiently than with mains power. AAP/Short Communications, Girrit Fokkema

How to save business billions, without cutting renewable jobs

The debate about the future of Australia’s Renewable Energy Target (RET) has largely focused on the issue of immediate costs to business. But if we’re thinking about Australia’s long-term economic interests…
Software and interactive content development account for the largest proportion of creative skills in Australia. ImagineCup

We can rebalance Australia’s economy with creative industries

Australia’s economic challenge is now starkly apparent. In the wake of a diminishing contribution to our national income by primary commodity exports (think iron ore, coal), we need to “rebalance” the…

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