* Manufacturing creates wealth by adding value to raw materials.
* In the 1960s, manufacturing employed 25% of the workforce - today it's less than 8%.
* In April 2016, the last Australian residential fridge manufacturer ceased production.
* The last three Australian car manufacturers have all now ceased manufacturing here.
* We are witnessing closures of manufacturing facilities everywhere: Electrolux, Bridgestone, Heinz, McCains, Dexion, Sims Metal, Mitsubishi, Ford, Toyota, Holden etc. etc.
When manufacturing industries are weakened, Australia suffers through diminished wealth creation, loss of employment and loss of skills.
The recently signed Free Trade Agreements (negotiated by the LNP) will see even more Australian manufacturing jobs lost, by removing (or lowering) Australian tariffs, resulting in even more imports.
Q: How can an Australian business compete with an overseas business that pays salaries of $2/hr?
A: It can't.
There are billions of people in countries to Australia's immediate north, who are willing to work for $2/hr.
However, our MPs continue to remove tariffs, and then seem surprised when businesses close down, or move production overseas.
Not that it worries our MPs - they only manufacture words.
In 2008, when Mitsubishi closed their car manufacturing facility in South Australia, only one third of the workers managed to find full-time employment elsewhere. Another one third of workers found only part time employment, and the remaining one third were unable to find any employment. (Flinders University study).
Thus, when our MPs talk about, "Jobs & growth," they really mean overseas jobs, and growth in the Aust govt debt.
Q: How will Australia pay for the manufactured goods that it imports?
A: By selling off assets such as land & resources, and borrowing more debt, to fund the continual deficits.
E.g: Australia sells vast quantities of low value raw materials such as iron ore at $70/tonne, and then imports that same steel back at $500 - $10,000+/tonne.
The vast bulk of that created wealth has been earned by other nations.
Furthermore, about 80% of shares in the big mining companies are foreign owned, meaning 80% of the dividend wealth goes offshore too.
Tony Abbott visited Fordís production line at Geelong (May 2011) and said: ďAny government which makes it harder to manufacture cars, is making it harder for us to continue to be a first world economy.Ē
Yet thatís exactly what the LNP has done Ė sacrificed the car industry (and 200,000 jobs) with these FTAs.
Q: How can manufacturing industries be protected?
A: With sensible quotas and tariffs. Other nations do this.
The alternative is no tariffs & almost no manufacturing jobs in this nation (i.e. higher unemployment, higher mental illness, higher suicides).
Does Australia want to be a nation that imports all its manufactured items?
Our manufacturing industries should be protected.