18 Apr 2012
Australian manufacturers need help
The potential of Australia's medical-technology industry is being overlooked and the federal government should act to create manufacturing jobs and innovation, a lobby group says. The Medical Technology Association of Australia said the sector has the capability to create high-skilled manufacturing jobs and boost the country's strengths in medical research, but it is being overlooked.
The association said the industry was growing steadily, with revenues of 8 billion Australian dollars in 2010/11, but it was unhappy that more products are being imported than exported; the value of exports has fallen over the past three years. The association called on the federal government to put policies in place to develop a sustainable medical technology industry, including an emphasis on science, maths and engineering education.
Chief executive Anne Trimmer said governments in other advanced economies had identified the sector as a growth area. "Australia must compete to ensure that its advanced manufacturing sector retains a skilled workforce that can be used in medical-technology manufacturing. Australia has many of the right attributes to grow a strong domestic industry: a significant health and medical research capability, a high-quality health system, a highly skilled manufacturing workforce, a stable financial system, and access to the growing middle-class markets of Asia."