Manufacturing decline leaves Australia in the third world of exporters

Analysis by Peter Roberts It is now official. Australia now has the economic diversity and export profile of a typical third world nation. Our antipathy to value-adding activities such as manufacturing in favour of industries that require little more than digging it up and shipping it out, has left us dangerously dependent on quarrying. According…

ASC – good enough for Sweden, but not Australia

Comment by Peter Roberts Adelaide’s ASC Pty Ltd, which built the Collins class submarines in Australia, is performing submarine design work for Sweden. The agreement which sees the submarine builder working on Sweden’s A26 submarine programme, was first announced, was announced in November, but resurfaced in the media in the past week. ASC is now…

Rip Curl – RIP another Australian manufacturing dream fades away

Comment by Peter Roberts The news this morning is that Rip Curl, the iconic Torquay Victoria surf brand is being sold to New Zealand’s Kathmandu for $350 million. And so another great Australian dream of designing and manufacturing great products completes its long, slow decline to full overseas ownership. The Rip Curl story is yet…

2021: a space business’s odyssey

Despite a recent mishap, Gilmour Space Technologies’ goal of offering commercial trips to orbit in 2021 is unchanged. Brent Balinski spoke to founder and CEO Adam Gilmour about the need for local launches, the $150 million federal boost to space companies, and the enduring mystery of a recent award nomination.  

National Shipbuilding Authority needed to guide naval ship construction

Comment by Peter Roberts A former South Australian Liberal party leader who later became a minister in the state Labor government has called for the establishment of a national shipbuilding authority to guide naval ship construction. Martin Hamilton-Smith’s political history is indeed as complex as the task now facing Australia to build and then sustain…

Profile of success – Elphinstone and Caterpillar

Tasmanian mining equipment manufacturer Elphinstone has made a remarkable comeback as an OEM manufacturer to the global Caterpillar group. The Burnie company, which employs 2,500, first shot to prominence when it modified Caterpillar surface equipment to operate underground. Eventually it grew into a 50: 50 joint venture with Caterpillar, designing and making underground load, haul,…