MEDIA RELEASE: Manufacturing draft report calls for change

Queensland’s economic think tank has put forward a plan of action to make the State’s manufacturing sector more  productive and competitive.

Queensland Productivity Commission released its draft report today, targeting costs, productivity and
government programs.

Principal Commissioner Kim Wood said the Queensland Government had asked him for policies that would
support the strong and diverse manufacturing industry, which employs 169,000 workers.

“Manufacturing firms are successfully propelling their own competitiveness and growth,” he said.

“To best support them, government action must target market and government failures, simplify and consolidate programs, and focus on performance and results.

“Economy-wide policies, rather than sector-specific measures, will have the greatest benefit. However, where
incentives to individual firms or sectors are provided, they should be transparently reported.”

The draft report makes 10 recommendations, including to make it easier for business to locate here, avoid further  pressure on energy prices, reform the state tax system, remove impediments to procurement and labour mobility, and ensure the manufacturing industry can access the right workforce.

Mr Wood said, overall, the Queensland manufacturing industry was robust and innovative.

“In our investigation, we saw many competitive manufacturers cleverly using natural resources, leading-edge
technology, superior design, high levels of efficiency or a strong customer service focus to supply state, national
and global markets,” he said.

“Undoubtedly, the manufacturing sector is facing external pressures, including strong domestic and international competition, rising input costs such as gas and electricity, and changing consumer needs.”

QPC is seeking feedback on its draft recommendations, as well as further evidence on innovation in Queensland, management skills, red tape and ways to help older, lower-skilled workers adjust to changes.

Stakeholders from all sectors—including industry, unions, government and academia—have until 6 September
2017 to respond to the draft report, which is available online at http://www.qpc.qld.gov.au/inquiries/manufacturing/

QPC will provide its final report to the Queensland Government at the end of October.

Media inquiries
Suzanne Oxford
0413 875 806