Manufacturing is an integral part of the Australian economy. As of the March quarter 2013, the manufacturing industry employed approximately 941,400 people. In 2012, it contributed approximately $106 billion to the economy. Manufacturing is also central to innovation, accounting for over one quarter of all Business Expenditure in R&D in 2010-11, representing around $4.8 billion invested in research and development.
Since the 1980s, manufacturing in Australia has undergone substantial structural change influenced by a number of factors including globalisation, technical change and changing consumer preferences.
Support for Manufacturing
On 6 October 2011, the Prime Minister announced the Taskforce on Manufacturing to map out a shared vision for the future of Australia’s manufacturing sector and help strengthen local firms as they adapt to changes in our economy, including the rise of Asia. The final report of the non-government members of the Prime Minister’s Taskforce on Manufacturing – Smarter manufacturing for a smarter Australia [PDF 769KB]– was released on 16 August 2012.
The creation of the Manufacturing Leaders Group was a recommendation of the Smarter manufacturing for a smarter Australia report. The Government established the Group to provide strategic advice on manufacturing to the Government, champion capability development to build better firms and workplaces, and to assist in implementing the Government’s response to the Taskforce’s recommendations.
On 17 February 2013, in response to the Smarter manufacturing for a smarter Australia report, the Government released its Industry and Innovation Statement- A Plan for Australian Jobs.
The department has responsibility for a range of initiatives that encourage the sustainable growth of Australian industry. These include but are not limited to:
Case studies provide examples of manufacturers who have benefitted from some of these initiatives.
The department produces a quarterly Manufacturing Data Card which summarises key manufacturing statistics. For further information on the manufacturing industry, please contact:
Data and Strategic Analysis Unit
Department of Industry, Innovation, Climate Change, Science, Research and Tertiary Education
GPO Box 9839
Canberra ACT 2601
Phone: +61 2 6213 6429