August 21, 2012 - 2:39pm
Printing Industries has welcomed the release of the Prime Minister’s Manufacturing Taskforce Report Smarter Manufacturing for a Smarter Australia along with many of its recommendations, but says it is disappointed it didn’t go far enough.
“Many of the recommendations are consistent with the overall strategic direction adopted by Printing Industries and articulated to the Taskforce,“ Printing Industries CEO Bill Healey said.
“However it is disappointing that there were no any sector based plans or recommendations.
“The Report certainly provides us with a broad framework to address printing industry specific issues but it does not recognize that some sectors, such as the printing sector, have unique issues and challenges that require special attention to redress.”
Mr Healey said that of the reports 41 recommendations, Printing Industries' initial assessment indicated that some 18 recommendations would be directly relevant.
“Many of the recommendations build on what we currently have underway initiated under Printing and Publishing network on the Creative Industries Hub of Enterprise Connect.
“We are therefore supportive of recommendations aimed at upgrading Enterprise Connect and turning it into a single front door for SME support.
“In addition to Enterprise Connect being equipped to provide knowledge and advice on the implications of broadband for the business models of its clients, it will help facilitate the expansion of innovation in our industry. This is an area we are developing in conjunction with the Hargraves Institute and are actively pursuing with Enterprise Connect.
“The recommendations to establish hubs to share resources and support knowledge “spill overs and diffusion” is a path we are already on and we have a submission pending to the Federal Government. This also coincides with the Reports recommendation to establish a formal and ongoing dialogue between industry and research and education institutions which we support,” he said.
Printing Industries National Manager, Policy and Government Affairs, Hagop Tchamkertenian, said other recommendations Printing Industries supported included expanding access to finance for SMEs; succession planning and generational change; managing the transition of displaced workers; showcasing good practice in high performing workplaces, and the establishment of a Manufacturing Leaders Group to work on manufacturing related issues.
He said the Report also recommended that the impacts of the carbon price need to be ameliorated given the current competitive environment.
“We agree that this is a good position and we also support the move to monitor the impact via the Jobs and Competitiveness program, which support energy intensive businesses operating under the Carbon Price Mechanism, and refined as needed to ensure the global competitiveness of those sectors.
“Printing Industries is of the view that all sectors of manufacturing including printing, should be supported as rising energy costs will threaten the commercial viability of many printing businesses if they are forced for competitive reasons to absorb the carbon-related cost increases” he said.
Mr Healey said Printing Industries would be writing to the Prime Minister and requesting representation on the proposed Manufacturing Leaders Group.
“We are an industry that is experiencing both cyclical and structural issues. While the Report acknowledges the cyclical factors and recommends that a package of short-term measures be considered to help counter the cyclical factors confronting key manufacturing subsectors, it is silent on the more critical issue of supporting sectors such as printing to manage their structural issues,” he said.
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