Analysis and Commentary


Election 22 the real issues – more support for manufacturing by Leigh Rust

Analysis and Commentary




@AuManufacturing’s occasional editorial series on the real issues in the 2022 federal election continues today with a call for further support for manufacturing. By Leigh Rust.

With the federal election fast approaching, discussions on the issues facing Australia are on the table, but it’s also important to champion and be vocal about the issues that matter most to you.

As a manufacturer, the issues I’m most passionate about onshore manufacturing, mitigating supply chain issues, and working towards achieving greater sustainability in the country’s built environment.

Too often during the tender process, we see contracts being awarded to offshore companies when a local company is just as capable of undertaking the same project – something that would support a circular economy and help to keep funds onshore.

Given the high cost involved in businesses manufacturing and hiring locally, the more the public and private sector choose to support and purchase from Australian-made companies, the more likely it is that companies will remain Australian-made.

From a government perspective, supporting Australian-made businesses shouldn’t involve just purchasing from them, but investing in them through relevant stimulus packages, funding and training.

This support is needed now, more than ever, given the rising cost of building materials and freight.

Supporting the circular economy by creating and manufacturing products onshore has always been key to our business, but with recent increasing costs, we needed to weather these external challenges.

For us at Safetyline Jalousie, this meant temporarily reducing our spending in other areas of our business.

Supply chain delays have been another prominent issue facing businesses during and off the back of Covid.

Fortunately, the federal Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications has outlined the following key outcomes they wish to achieve to mitigate supply chain issues via its National Freight and Supply Chain Strategy:

  • Decreased transaction costs and other barriers to moving freight seamlessly along supply chains
  • An appropriately-skilled freight workforce – now and in the future
  • Technologies to improve freight outcomes
  • And building community acceptance of freight.

The government’s plan to achieve these outcomes is through collaboration with industry, education and training, and championing diversity in the freight sector.

However this is not enough. Further ways the government could, and should, help alleviate supply chain pressures include:

  • Subsidising a proportion of freight costs
  • Offering additional investments in training to upskill the country’s freight workforce (with a key focus on how to best manage increased demand and pressure)
  • And an investment in new tools/ technologies to help with the above.

When planning to improve the efficiency of the country’s supply chain, it’s important that rail, water and road freight are considered.

Regardless of which party is chosen in the upcoming federal election, reducing supply chain issues must be a priority for either leader, with policies implemented during their upcoming term that will offer long-lasting benefits and improvements to Australia’s supply chain efficiency.

If supporting Australia’s onshore manufacturing capabilities, and mitigation supply chain issues, is something that you are passionate about as well, I encourage you to find out who your local MPs are and let them know.

Leigh Rust is passionate advocate for Australian made goods. Leigh is founder and Director of Safetyline Jalousie which provides quality and efficiency driven air solutions, and a board member of Vergola NSW.

Picture: Leigh Rust

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