We need properly resourced industry policy – Roy Green

One of Australia’s leading industry policy experts Emeritus Professor Roy Green has decried the lack of properly resourced industry policies to capitalise on areas where we have competitive advantage.

Green told ABC radio a lack of a manufacturing culture partly caused by years of policy neglect was the over-riding factor in Australia’s weak manufacturing sector.

Green, chairman of the Port of Newcastle, and former Dean of Business at UTS said: “We had our major downturn with the high dollar during the period of the mining boom.

“Manufacturing has recovered somewhat since then but we won’t see any growth except in a number of sub-sectors where there are a number of highly specialised firms, innovative firms able to take advantage of global markets and supply chains.”

Growth in manufacturing has been associated with areas such as food and beverage production and high-tech areas such as medical instruments, as well as a recovery in mining investment and strong activity in building and construction.

Green said the question for the future was in the internet of things – who is going to make the things?

“It it is not us, it will be someone else.”

Green, who has advised the federal government on industry policy, said it was a fundamental requirement of progress in manufacturing to have a properly resourced suite of industry policies.

“There hasn’t really been a focus or interest in where Australia’s future competitive advantage in manufacturing lies.”

Professor Green is a member of the advisory board of @AuManufacturing news.

Picture: Newcastle Herald/Roy Green at the Port of Newcastle.

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