Invest in manufacturing: CEO

CALLS have been directed at Government to provide incentives for capital equipment investment in the Australian manufacturing industry.

Recently appointed Australian Manufact-uring Technology Institute Limited CEO Shane Infanti has wasted no time in his new role, saying the new company tax rules have reduced the incentive for capital investment.

“The Australian manufacturing industry is in a time of difficulty at the moment,” Mr Infanti said.

“One reason is that we are not competitive on the global field.

“In order to compete with South East Asia we’ve got to introduce new technology.

“With the loss of accelerated depreciation as a result of new company tax rules, there is little incentive for Australian manufacturers to invest in new capital equipment.

“We’re being left behind our South East Asian partners,” Mr Infanti said.

Recent Australian Bureau of Statistics figures show capital equipment investment has taken a hammering, falling 30 per cent on 1999.

The import of machine tools has also fallen dramatically in the past three years.

AMTIL was formed in 1999 when the Institute of Machine Tools Australia amalgamated with the Australian Machine Tools Association. The organisation now has 150 member companies Australia-wide.

High on the AMTIL agenda was securing Government help for investment allowances and research and for development grants to small and medium-sized businesses.

“Small businesses need help to compete with South East Asia. There’s not enough business to sustain them in Australia,” Mr Infanti said.

He said there were many factors affecting the Australian manufacturing industry.

“There has been the Asian crash, a downturn in New Zealand and a downturn in the automotive industry.

“We are still two years away from tooling up for new Australian-made cars and there is no manufacturing direction from Government,” he said.

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