Tasmania’s advanced manufacturing sector has a post-COVID opportunity to thrive, if supported by effectively targeted government support.
Shadow Minister for Advanced Manufacturing Anita Dow said Tasmania’s advanced manufacturing sector had demonstrated over time its ability to adapt and innovate to evolve.
“Tasmanian manufacturing businesses have become trusted suppliers to key projects, including some of the state’s most innovative renewable energy projects, as well as in the defence, mining and transport sectors. They’ve demonstrated that they can adapt their businesses to move out of traditional manufacturing and into sophisticated, high-value products.
“That level of business agility must be further developed to support Tasmania’s recovery from COVID-19. Government support could include co-funding grants for capital investment, changes to training delivery, systems development, and associated research and development.
“Consultation with industry and stakeholders regarding the establishment of an Advanced Manufacturing Centre of Excellence on the North West Coast should occur to enhance workforce capability, better connect and support businesses, facilitate collaboration and underpin research and development.”
Ms Dow said disruption to pre-COVID supply chains may offer new market opportunities for advanced manufacturing.
“The sector will thrive with appropriate investment in skills and training to support capability development and certification to support new product development and access to new markets.
“That will mean Tasmania is less reliant on supply chains compromised by COVID, and that local businesses can scale up so they can be the partner of choice for major projects at state, national and international level.
“At a time when businesses may have trouble sourcing components and products from the usual supply chain, we must look at how to diversify Tasmania’s economy through on-island manufacturing expertise.”
Ms Dow called on the state government to review procurement processes for government departments and GBEs, to ensure opportunities for local manufacturing businesses are prioritised.
“It has never been more important to buy local, build local, and employ local.
“Labor wants a future for Tasmania where we also ‘make local’ and one in which we fully explore the capability of our manufacturing businesses to diversify and strengthen Tasmania’s post-COVID economy.”
Anita Dow MP
Shadow Minister for Advanced Manufacturing