The Australia Institute’s Centre for Future Work’s released “Manufacturing: A Moment of Opportunity” today, coinciding with the National Manufacturing Summit.

The report and the summit have highlighted a sector that despite being shunned by government is showing strong signs of revival.

Quotes attributable to ACTU Assistant Secretary Scott Connolly:

“Manufacturing can support huge numbers of jobs and provide indirect support to huge portions of the economy.”

“It’s the sixth largest industry in Australia and generated 40,000 jobs last year – a staggering feat for a part of the economy which successive coalition governments have left to wilt on the vine.”

“This industry is finally recovering after the huge losses that came with the GFC, but with intelligent investment we can continue to expand opportunities for manufacturing in Australia.”

“We need to harness the recent growth in the manufacturing industry and ensure that it continues to adapt and create employment.”

“It would be a great tragedy if the recent gains made by manufacturing were allowed to fade. This is real growth which can form the basis for creating better jobs, stronger growth and a more prosperous economy.”

“Action is needed urgently. We face a situation now where the steel industry is on the brink of collapse, unless the federal government acts to ensure a deal to save the Arrium plant in Whyalla is successful.”

“Arrium has a vital role to play in Australian construction projects, and a commitment from the Government here will not only ensure the jobs at Arrium but all the jobs that flow on from a strong steel production sector in Australia, providing Australian materials for Australian projects, which in turn will create further employment.”

“We want to see the government commit to action to guarantee a future for Arrium and Whyalla, but more broadly to invest in a future for the manufacturing sector so that it can continue to support the huge number of jobs that flow outward from manufacturing.”