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Forty-five recommendations have been made by the Economic Development and Infrastructure Committee as a result of their 2009 Inquiry into Manufacturing in Victoria.
Final Report - Inquiry into Manufacturing in Victoria
The final 274-page report was based on 64 written submissions, including one submission by South East Melbourne Manufacturers Alliance (SEMMA) and 68 public hearings.
SEMMA urges governments to acknowledge and act upon these recommendations to better the Victorian manufacturing industry, build a stronger foundation for future endeavours, and strengthen local and international relationships.
A highly engaged Committee, headed by state member for Pascoe Vale Christine Campbell, held a hearing in August 2009 asking questions of SEMMA in relation to their submission and general manufacturing issues.
The Committee received extensive evidence regarding factors beneficial and detrimental to the manufacturing industry.
On 24 occasions throughout the final report, SEMMA was directly and indirectly quoted, providing substantial knowledge and heightened awareness of the issues affecting Victorian manufacturers.
During the public hearing on 16 September 2009 Executive Officer of SEMMA Paul Dowling, provided examples of agencies purchasing cheaper products from international suppliers, opposed to seeking locally manufactured products that offered best value.
"...The standard hospital bed from China costs around $700 and will last about three years." Mr. Dowling said. "The standard hospital bed made in Australia will cost about $1600 to $1800 and it will last eight to 12 years."
The issue of immediate cost superseding best value has evidently resulted in support for international manufacturers superseding local manufacturers.
By submitting to the Inquiry and attending the Committee hearing SEMMA, alongside 63 additional manufacturing representatives, have implored the need for action on a number of issues, ranging from the aforementioned international competitiveness to WorkCover and payroll taxes.
"SEMMA recommended that variations in the application of various taxes and regulatory requirements (including WorkCover premiums and payroll tax) between jurisdictions created unnecessary duplication of effort for businesses, and may act as a disincentive to the location of businesses in Victoria and/or Australia."(Final Report of the Inquiry into Manufacturing in Victoria, Page 58)
It has become evident through findings during the inquiry, in order to provide a sustainable future for Victorian manufacturers and Victoria as a whole, support needs to be improved and changes need to be made.
SEMMA would like to commend the Committee for its meticulousness throughout the inquiry and offer its complete support, assistance and commitment to ensure the recommendations are implemented, providing Victorian manufacturers with the best possible future.