We are producing an ongoing series of papers intended to bring forward for public discussion urgent issues concerning Australia’s future economic structure and development that are inseparable from other society wide challenges, including our capacity to positively respond to climate change.
Critical to meeting these challenges are industrial policies aimed at providing direction and leadership to the development of the nation’s economic structure. Such policies increase our self-sufficiency, making us less vulnerable to decisions by external trading partners committed to climate and other actions. Australia stands to benefit economically from climate action, but achieving those benefits depends upon economic leadership.
For the past decade Australia has lacked even the semblance of a national industrial policy or strategy. Recent developments nationally and at the state level (including South Australia) indicate greater ambition and a change of course. Including two recent significant policy initiatives: the Federal Government’s National Reconstruction Fund, and the South Australian Government’s SA Hydrogen Jobs Plan.
The first paper in this series, Manufacturing Transformation: High-value manufacturing for the 21st Century canvassed a range of key issues in Australia’s reindustrialisation, whilst the second Innovation Procurement concerned advanced public procurement practices for innovation and industrial development. The third report, The Circular Economy, proposes the application of Circular Economy principles as part of a national strategy of reindustrialisation and decarbonisation. Exactly what is meant by sovereign capability and how it is measured is contested. Australian Sovereign Capability and Supply Chain Resilience addresses this reality and the need to progress towards an agreed definition to guide policy development and practice.
We hope these papers stimulate discussion in support of ambitious industrial policy for Australia’s future.
Manufacturing Transformation has been prepared by the Australian Industrial Transformation to help stimulate debate about strategies for accelerating the growth of high value manufacturing and jobs in Australia. A new consensus about the central importance of manufacturing in Australia needs to be forged. We hope that this report makes a modest contribution to that objective.
Australia's needs public procurement reform. This report outlines the strategic value of a thorough-going reform and reorientation of public procurement policy and practice in Australia. This would align with the purpose of using public procurement (in conjunction with other policies) to work in fulfillment of wider and more ambitious strategic goals for Australia’s economy, society, and environment.
This is a proposal for application of Circular Economy (CE) principles to a national strategy with four planks: reindustrialisation, decarbonisation, value-adding and greater sovereign capability.
This report is about industrial strategy and policy responses to CE practices and the roles appropriate to CE in achieving the generational project of Australia’s reindustrialisation. Having a set of strategic purposes, we inquire into the ‘decisive points’ at which CE concepts can contribute with greatest effect to reindustrialisation, decarbonisation, value-adding and greater sovereign capability.
This analysis has an explicit strategic purpose: to determine where and how CE practice should be integrated into a national industrial strategy aimed at building onshore value chains in service of the four planks.
The COVID-19 pandemic has led many nations to ask whether, and in what domains, a greater degree of self-sufficiency should become an explicit national goal.
These concerns with sovereign capability are especially prominent for Australia, which has deindustrialised over the past quarter century making it more vulnerable to supply chain shocks at a time of global crisis.
It should be of great concern to policymakers that Australia has the highest dependency on manufactured imports - and the lowest level of manufacturing self-sufficiency - of any OECD country, leading to serious deficits in Australia’s sovereign capabilities.
The Factory of the Future will deliver a world-class, reconfigurable advanced manufacturing test bed, training and industry growth facility – the first of its kind in Australia.
Aside from the thousands of jobs created, about 250 companies will be involved in the facility, benefiting from collaborations with research expertise and opportunities to integrate into domestic and international value chains.
The Promise of Automation and Digitalisation with Professor Hugh Bradlow
Prof. Bradlow argues that the advantage of automation is not productivity but the reduction, and possibly ultimately elimination, of human error.
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