HVIA urges renewed manufacturing modernisation support

Industry innovation and jobs recovery at forefront of Hacking’s appeal

HVIA urges renewed manufacturing modernisation support
Todd Hacking


Heavy Vehicle Industry Australia (HVIA) is calling on a new round of the Manufacturing Modernisation Fund (MMF) to help kickstart industry’s Covid-19 economic recovery and encourage future innovation.

The original $50 million MMF provided co-funded grants to small and medium manufacturing businesses to upgrade manufacturing processes and grow skilled workforces.

HVIA seeks MMF assistance via Federal Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Karen Andrews to "support heavy vehicle manufacturers in retooling, re-engineering and innovation to future-proof local manufacturing and assist Australia’s post pandemic economic recovery".

"There are over 1 million heavy vehicle assets (trucks and trailers) on Australian roads underpinning the 700 billion tonne kilometres of freight across almost every sector of the Australian economy," HVIA CEO Todd Hacking says.

"We believe our industry has the potential to make a significant contribution to Australia’s recovery from the COVID-19 Pandemic, including pivoting into new markets, upskilling, ensuring more efficient processes and investing in Advanced Manufacturing.

"Historically, our industry has been seen as more traditional manufacturing due to the customised nature of the industry, which rules out the large scale, highly automated assembly line approach."

HVIA has previously advocated for the instant asset write-off extension

The National COVID-19 Coordination Commission’s (NCCC), interim report suggests the implementation of Industry 4.0 – the ongoing automation of traditional manufacturing and industrial practices – in Australia has been extraordinarily low compared to other western economies.

Hacking says the time is right with technological advancements, new systems and consumer sentiment for Australian made products.

"There is newfound enthusiasm to pursue ways to innovate, automate or to generally invest in Industry 4.0, as a need to pivot following the pandemic, a response to overseas competition and a will to innovate," he says.

"Australia’s diverse transport system, harsh conditions and vast distances have resulted in innovative engineering designs, with virtually every vehicle built specifically for the task it will undertake and resulting in some of the safest and most efficient heavy vehicles in the world.

"This has been achieved without the government support provided to the light vehicle industry.

"We believe a grant program that strategically enables businesses to invest and create jobs, grow, expand, diversify, or increase efficiency to create jobs and stimulate a higher degree of Advanced Manufacturing in Australia is a responsible and prudent investment.

"The first round of the Manufacturing Modernisation Fund was hugely popular with over 1,000 grant applications, which demonstrates the interest in the goals of the initiative."


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