The National COVID-19 Coordination Commission (NCCC) Manufacturing Taskforce has met with Heavy Vehicle Industry Australia (HVIA) to address growth and resilience.
The NCCC, which was formed at the behest of the Prime Minister and is led by Neville Power, has two key roles: to help minimise and mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 on jobs and businesses, and to facilitate the fastest possible recovery of lives and livelihoods.
Following public comments by Mr Power that Australia needs to strengthen its independence and harness its existing capability through modern, efficient, and high-tech manufacturing, HVIA requested a meeting.
HVIA President John Drake and Chief Executive Todd Hacking told the NCCC delegation that the heavy vehicle industry is very proud to be one of the last bastions of manufacturing in the Australian economy.
“Our members are not only diverse in their capacity and capability; they are also agile and responsive to changing and challenging operating environments,” Mr Drake said.
“HVIA believes this resilience and adaptability are great skills that might represent a template if Australia is to make substantial steps towards restoring our independent manufacturing capability.”
The NCCC advised HVIA of their two key strategies, firstly a stronger take up of Advanced Manufacturing of Industry 4.0 as it is known and secondly future-proofing Australia’s energy supply, particularly the supply of gas, as core features of their strategy to increase the competitiveness of Australian manufacturing.
Mr Hacking said the NCCC described the compelling benefits behind their thinking.
“The NCCC propose to create a more diverse and competitive energy supply and that has the potential to dramatically reduce one of our industry’s greatest input costs,” Mr Hacking said.
“The NCCC contend that collectively – building on our skill-base, reducing input costs and reducing our dependence on imported materials and components – the initiatives will also further enable a competitive export market.”
“HVIA raised workforce and skills issues as well as the need for a R&D and re-tooling fund to help Australian manufacturers pivot during this pandemic.
“HVIA will continue to work collaboratively with all levels of Government in responding to this pandemic, and towards further developing Australia’s resilience to future threats and disruptions.”
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