Western Australia Minister for Commerce Simon O’Brien
WA Marine Specialist To Address Industry Challenges
Victor P Taffa
The State Government is taking steps to further assist the competitiveness of Western Australia’s long established marine industry.
Commerce Minister Simon O’Brien today announced the Government had pledged $40,000 to appoint an industry specialist to work with the local marine industry to develop strategies and initiatives to improve its efficiency and competitiveness.
Mr. O’Brien said Western Australia accounted for about half Australia’s total shipbuilding production, with an annual turnover of about $1.5 Billion.
“However, the industry is facing a number of challenges, mainly from a rising exchange rate, the availability of skilled workers and low consumer confidence.” Mr. O’Brien said.
Addressing members of the Shipbuilding and Superyacht industry’s peak body Marine WA at the launch of a new website and promotional video, the Minister urged the industry to become involved in working with the specialist to develop strategies and initiatives to address the challenges.
“It is time for the industry to actively work together to consider systems which can be adopted to collectively improve its competitiveness.” Mr. O’Brien said.
“Various focus groups will be established to explore avenues such as joint marketing activities; collective purchasing arrangements; skills sharing; research and development collaboration; or regulation changes.”
The Minister said the State has already seen the benefits of industry collaboration at Australia’s biggest commercial shipbuilding precinct, the Australian Marine Complex, where ship and boat builders, repairers and maintainers are co-located close to marine equipment and component manufacturers, suppliers and service providers.