News today that 90 jobs are to go as Boral suspends manufacturing at its Waurn Ponds kiln in favour of using imported clinker highlights the extraordinary pressures being placed on manufacturing in Australia by the Gillard Government’s chronic economic mismanagement.
“In a challenging economic environment, Australian manufacturing is being stifled by a high-cost and restrictive regulatory regime,” said Sophie Mirabella, Shadow Minister for Industry, today.
Rising energy costs, increasing manufacturing expenses and a downturn in building and construction activity have been cited by Boral as some of the unhelpful factors behind today’s decision.
“Labor continually announces panels, reviews, consultations and advisory boards but never addresses the restrictively high costs being placed on manufacturing, including the carbon tax, which has added millions of dollars of costs to the pressures already being faced by the sector,” Mrs Mirabella said.
“There are four simple steps the Government could take to immediately address the rising costs faced by manufacturing: Adopting a consistent policy approach, axing the carbon tax and the mining tax, cutting red tape, and cutting spending to bring debt under control.
“The cement industry has been besieged by the poor legislative and economic choices of the Gillard Government,” Mrs Mirabella said.
“The industry has been relentlessly slugged with new costs by Labor, including by their ill-conceived shipping reforms, the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal and other productivity stifling regulatory burdens.
“The Prime Minister waxes lyrical about the need to protect Australian manufacturing jobs whilst loading up the industry with costs and the burden of a stifling regulatory regime.
Boral Chairman Bob Every stated in November 2011 that the impact of the carbon tax would make it difficult to ever justify building another cement kiln in Australia.
“This Labor Government is suffocating investment in manufacturing in Australia through its failure to understand the cost pressures being faced by the sector,” Mrs Mirabella concluded.