Posted on 04. Sep, 2012 in News

The Baillieu Government has admitted failure in setting up the key body meant to give it strategic advice and monitor performance in the manufacturing industry, eight months after its inception, Shadow Minister for Manufacturing Adem Somyurek said today.

Formally announced with great fanfare by Manufacturing Minister Richard Dalla-Riva on December 19, 2011, the council was meant to provide industry with direction of government policies.

“Instead what has happened is the Baillieu Government has completely abandoned the Victorian manufacturing industry,” Mr Somyurek said.

“Mr Dalla-Riva recently boasted that the Victorian Manufacturing Council would be ‘a source of strategic advice to government’, ‘an important channel for the government to consult and interact directly with manufacturers’ and would report on the ‘performance of the industry’.

“Embarrassingly for the Baillieu Government nothing has happened since.

“Eight months after that declaration and seven months after expressions of interest to join the council closed, the Minister has still not delivered.”

Mr Somyurek said industry was now uncertain of where it stood in terms of government priorities and sceptical about the government’s commitment to manufacturing in this state.

The government’s policy A More Competitive Manufacturing Industry states that the ‘implementation of the manufacturing strategy will be overseen by the Victorian Manufacturing Council, fulfilling an election commitment’.

“It is all very well to put a ‘policy implemented’ stamp on a media release but if nearly two years since the last election the Minister has still not got the council off the ground, serious questions need to be asked,” Mr Somyurek said.

“Given the Minister’s huff and puff at the time, one has to wonder what, if any, of this work is being performed in the absence of a council.

“Mr Dalla-Riva is more interested in producing glossy documents with all the latest buzz words than undertaking the real work that is required to support Victorian manufacturers.

“It is time this no action government started to take manufacturing seriously, instead of adopting an ad hoc approach that leaves manufacturers in the dark about the government’s commitment to the sector.”

Mr Somyurek said the Baillieu Government has done nothing to stop job losses in the manufacturing industry including 440 at Ford, 112 at CMI, 33 at CUB, 105 at Kerry Ingredients, and 164 at LTQ.


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