Posted on 05. Jul, 2010 in Victoria

Victoria’s manufacturing sector is experiencing faster growth than the national average according to new figures from the Australian Industry Group (AIG).

The AIG figures for June show Victoria’s manufacturing activity expanded for the third straight month while national average growth in manufacturing activity slowed.

AIG’s performance manufacturing index (PMI) for June placed Victoria at 54.3 points compared to the Australian average of 52.9 points.

In Croydon today at automotive parts manufacturer Denso which received Government support to expand its operations, Industry and Trade Minister Jacinta Allan credited the state’s manufacturing growth to the resilience of Victorian manufacturers, backed by support and strong economic management from the Brumby Labor Government.

“Importantly, these figures show Victoria’s manufacturing activity is expanding, meaning more jobs and a stronger economy,” she said.

“The Global Financial Crisis has posed great challenges to manufacturers, but with the support of the Brumby Labor Government, many made the transition to newer markets which helped them remain resilient and capitalise on new opportunities.

“Denso was one of the most recent recipients of support from our Industry Transition Fund to expand its site and manufacture Condenser Radiator Fan Modules to supply GM Holden, a product that previously had to be imported.

“This expansion, once completed, will create 42 new jobs boosting Denso’s workforce to 400.”

Ms Allan said the Government would continue its support for Victorian businesses, including manufacturers, with a renewed focus on global competitiveness.

“July marks the beginning of our new $11.4 million Competitive Business Fund, announced in the 2010-11 State Budget, that will help Victorian businesses build a competitive edge and take advantage of global opportunities,” she said.

“This new initiative is in addition to the business support initiatives contained in our Ready for Tomorrow regional blueprint, our skills training reforms, our industry support program and the many other business assistance measures available through Government.”

Ms Allan said the new Competitive Business Fund would support businesses to invest in new equipment, infrastructure, technology and product or process innovation.

“The Competitive Business Fund is another example of the Brumby Labor Government’s active support for Victorian industry to assist businesses and supply chains to boost productivity and create the jobs we need to strengthen our global competitiveness,” she said.

The Fund provides two streams of assistance on a competitive rounds basis:

  • Enterprise – up to $250,000 for a project involving one company, to be matched by a minimum of  $3 for every $1 granted; and
  • Supply Chain – up to $500,000 for a collaborative project involving multiple companies, to be matched by a minimum of $2 for every $1 granted.


Funding can be used for a range of purposes, including:

  • Purchase/upgrade plant and equipment or technology;
  • Upgrade to existing infrastructure;
  • Capability development;
  • Collaborative projects among multiple businesses that facilitate business growth; and
  • Demonstration projects where knowledge is shared across industry.


“A total of $3.3 million in funding is available in the first round of grants, which is open from today and until Friday, 6 August, 2010,” Ms Allan said.

Australian Industry Group’s Victorian Director Tim Piper welcomed the new initiative, commenting that it would assist businesses looking to capitalise on opportunities following the global economic downturn.   

“The Fund provides a great incentive for Victorian businesses to invest in their future competitiveness, from infrastructure and equipment to innovative collaborative projects,” he said.

Ms Allan said the Competitive Business Fund was a key element of the Brumby Labor Government’s $16.4 million Transition to a Global Future initiative, announced in the 2010-11 State Budget.

“The Fund replaces the Industry Transition Fund (ITF), which operated for the past two years, and of which Denso was a recipient” she said.

Ms Allan said the ITF was announced in November 2008 as part of the Victorian Industry and Manufacturing Statement, Building Our Industries for the Future, to support local businesses through the worst of the Global Financial Crisis.

ITF has to date committed $40 million worth of assistance to business, with the following 17 companies receiving a grant: Denso, BAE Systems, Britax, Bruck, Cablex, Carter Holt Harvey, Continental, Frontline, Futuris, Gippsland Food Company, Hella, Hofmann Metaltec, MH Group, Monsbent, Ozpress, Warren & Brown and Woodbridge.

A remaining $8 million of grants are currently under offer, and $2 million are still being considered by government.

The ITF program has supported $223 million in investment, the retention of 3215 jobs and the generation of a further 639 new jobs.

Application forms and guidelines for the Competitive Business Fund are available from  

Printed copies and further information can also be obtained from Victorian Business Centres (VBC).

Contact Business Victoria on 13 22 15 for enquiries, including details of your nearest VBC.

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