Kerren Smith.
Kerren Smith.

Manufacturing ‘has been abandoned’

AFTER the demise of Gympie company J Smith & Sons, managing director Kerren Smith has hit out at governments for not having the foresight to promote manufacturing in Australia.

Mr Smith, who has been in control of the company for 38 years, said he thought governments had given up on manufacturing.

"It is unfortunate that our governments do not recognise how important the manufacturing industry is to Queensland and Australia," Mr Smith said .

"This is evident when you review the Queensland Government's four-pillar economic strategy.

"Nowhere in the strategy do the words manufacture or manufacturing appear.

"It is time the governments of today recognise the importance of manufacturing to our economy, the innovation created by manufacturing, the development of skills and employment in Australia's regional areas and capital cities.

"Our governments need to review their strategy of a level playing field, as nowhere else in the world follows such a strategy, and find a methodology to retain our manufacturing industry and the jobs that manufacturing creates."

He said with the severe downturn in the mining industry, particularly the coal industry combined with the uncertainty of car manufacturing in Australia, the flat construction industry, low investment in infrastructure, the strength of the Australian dollar and competition from cheap imported products, it was hard to survive.

"J Smith & Sons has found it difficult to obtain sufficient orders to remain in business," he said.

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