[LINK] Budget

stephen at melbpc.org.au stephen at melbpc.org.au
Sat May 16 00:25:56 AEST 2009

Richard writes,

>> sympathetic to TomK's call for a return to local manufacturing,
>> I think we ought best leave much of that to better-positioned
>> countries. Instead research is what we are good at and should
>> be our focus.
> In general, I agree, but there are exceptions.
> The first is that at a national scale, people can't all be researchers,
> people should be able to get jobs they're fitted for .. if you follow
> the logic of ditching manufacturing, the long-term result is damage to
> the economy as a whole; unless.. a viable, mass-employing alternative.

Very much agreed Richard. And it is a real shame that manufacturing here
appears on the skids, eg "Over the past 40 years or so Manufactures as a 
proportion of GDP have declined from around 35% to below 10% and falling.
Australia is a high labour cost economy, and hence, will not be able to 
manufacture goods that will be cost competitive with lower labour cost 
countries" http://www.pc.gov.au/__data/assets/file/0011/67772/sub003.rtf

If this is true(?) Tom's point re encouraging VC's, though a good thing,
might appear somewhat irrelevant to the theme. The VCs still need to get
whatever 'made' and Aussie will apparently NOT be the place that happens?

However, the above url noted, continues, "but there are many areas where
we could  produce cost competitive goods but are prevented from doing so 
by Legislation & Regulation that serves no real purpose other than to
guarantee that we export manufacturing jobs." (follows up with specific
examples, which were also read into Australian Parliament Hansard here:)


Thus according to this argument, in order to 'save' manufacturing here
we need *both* research, AND a nimble and responsive regulatory regime
which working together will respond effectively to emerging situations.

> And in the long term, sending manufacturing to "better positioned"
> countries only works if you ignore the environmental costs of wasteful 
> transport .. The business model works because both Australia and China
> either overlook or subsidise the pollution associated with transport. RC

Yes, again, thoroughly agree .. 

> > Science and unis are winners in the budget
> > Wednesday, 13 May 2009 Anna Salleh  ABC
> > http://www.abc.net.au/science/articles/2009/05/13/2569525.htm?
> > site=science&topic=latest
> > 
> > Science, innovation and education have been given a historic boost
> > by the Australian government, say commentators .. 

Ps, thanks again Tom for your numerous ideas re speedier bush-access.

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