Analysis and Commentary

70 economists back Future made in Australia, blast Productivity Commission

Analysis and Commentary

Channel Nine media has revealed that a group of 70 economists from the nation’s most important universities support the recently announced Future Made in Australia policy.

The exclusive story by well respected journalist Shane Wright in the SMH newspaper also puts a rocket up the Productivity Commission which has continued its long standing antipathy to any form of special policy for manufacturing.

The intervention by economists from universities in Sydney, Melbourne, NSW, Monash, Western Australia and Newcastle should enliven the political debate, especially in its criticism of the country’s ‘extract and export’ business model while ignoring the potential of industrial jobs.

The Labour government, despite initial promises of reforming the PC, has instead merely changed its head and continues to rely on the PC’s policies in its fundamental economic decisions.

The economists lauded Future made in Australia as a chance to rebuild the manufacturing sector in areas such as critical minerals

According to Channel Nine media: “Accusing the Productivity Commission and other critics of knee-jerk responses predicated on ‘outdated laissez-faire thinking’, the economists say the world of economic statecraft is changing rapidly, which threatens to leave Australia behind.

“Australia faces a vital choice. Decades of policy neglect for manufacturing, combined with support (including subsidies) for mineral extraction and export, have left Australia with a distorted and unbalanced economy,” they wrote.

Australia is the least economically complex in the OECD and consistantly rates alongside nations such as Uganda in the complexity of its industrial structure – meaning we rely on undifferentiated commodities with a minimum of local value adding, and local services.

According to the economists quoted in the newspaper: “This exposes Australia to a wide range of economic, social, environmental and geopolitical risks.

“Meanwhile, powerful corporate interests keep pressuring to extend and expand their extract and export business model.”

Read the full story in the SMH here.

Image: The Channel Nine media story

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