"Converting Opportunity Into Action"

Over 100 Delegates Attend National Manufacturing Summit 2017

Wednesday 21 June 2017 | Australian Parliament House, Canberra


Speakers      Program      Co-Sponsors       Report 



After years of downsizing and pessimism, there are encouraging signs that manufacturing industry in Australia may be turning a corner. Employment and new orders have grown. Business optimism is improving. And Australians still firmly believe that a healthy manufacturing sector is crucial to national prosperity.

The Centre for Future Work and The Australia Institute are proud to have hosted the National Manufacturing Summit, a one-day gathering at Parliament House. 

The Summit was a great success.  It was attended by over 100 delegates from a wide range of stakeholders: including business, unions, universities, NGOs, federal and state government departments, and more.  The keynote presentations and panel discussions were pointed, informed, and enlightening, opening new ground in the policy dialogue over how to sustain and nurture this vital segment of our economy. We were especially proud to be joined by four leading industry spokespersons from across the political spectrum, who made time to participate despite a very busy day in Parliament – including Minister for Industry Sinodinos, Shadow Minister Carr, and Senators Xenophon and Rhiannon.


Coincident with the Summit, we released a new research report on manufacturing in Australia, titled A Moment of Opportunity, that documents both improving economic conditions in the sector, and strong support for manufacturing demonstrated by Australians from all political perspectives. The end-of-day report-back, prepared ably by Dr. Tom Barnes from the Australian Catholic University, identified several issues inviting further research and dialogue. His comments spur all of us to keep thinking about pragmatic, incremental policy actions to reinforce the nascent turnaround in manufacturing that our research paper documented.

The Summit generated some important media coverage, including a feature on ABC’s RNBreakfast with Fran Kelly, a feature article in the Guardian, a commentary from Rob Burgess in The New Daily, and a series of articles in Manufacturers’ Monthly.

Next Steps: Based on key ideas generated during the day (as synthesised by our rapporteur, Dr. Tom Barnes from the Australian Catholic University), we will be generating an action report on the Summit that will be distributed to all Summit delegates.  We are also actively consulting with our co-sponsors and other interested parties regarding next steps in advancing the public dialogue around the future of advanced, sustainable manufacturing in Australia. Please stay tuned!


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Read the write-up in Manufacturers' Monthly:'_Monthly_article.PNG

The National Manufacturing Summit was hosted by the Australia Institute and the Centre for Future Work.

The following organisations are co-sponsors of the Summit, and we thank them for their support!

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