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Science-based industries to play key role in the ambitious national growth agenda

The Australian chemistry
industry welcomes the ambitious growth agenda agreed at the G20 in Brisbane.

“Setting targets sharpens the
focus on outcomes and makes us all responsible to drive the positive change
required,” said Samantha Read, Plastics and Chemicals Industries Association

“We look forward to the
opportunity of working together with the Australian Government to help reach
these targets.

“The Australian chemistry
industry, Australia’s second largest manufacturing sector, will play a vital
role in this growth agenda. The innovative application of science in industry
is the foundation of a smart economy, and this will be key to Australia
building comparative advantage.

“The Report ‘STEM: Australia’s
Future’, released in September by Chief Scientist Professor Ian Chubb, states
that globally, 75% of the fastest growing occupations require science,
technology, engineering and maths (STEM) skills. The business of chemistry
creates highly skilled jobs, directly employing over 60,000 people in

“Professor Chubb’s Report also
states that scientific and technological advances have produced roughly half of
all US economic growth in the last 50 years.

“The Australian chemistry
industry is proactive in setting a strategic agenda to drive growth and competitiveness,
launching the industry’s Strategic
last year. The Roadmap is informed by extensive independent
foresighting research conducted by CSIRO, which has enabled the industry to
identify the key growth opportunities on a national, regional and global scale.

“For example, the dual factors
of global population growth and an ageing population are driving massive demand
for health and wellbeing products. Chemistry enables products that we rely on
every day, from targeted medicines to oxygen permeable contact lenses.
Diabetics can test their blood sugar levels with a simple chemical test.
Medical devices such as incubators for premature babies, pacemakers and blood
bags save lives.

“When we talk about ‘advanced
manufacturing’, these are the kind of technologies that are valued for
advancing our everyday lives. The Australian chemistry industry plays a crucial
role in meeting the needs of an expanding world today and in providing
solutions to the challenges of the future.

“We welcome the focus on
collaboration outlined in Ambition 4 of the Federal Government’s Industry
Innovation and Competitiveness Agenda, which proposes the development of
Industry Growth Centres. The industry highly values partnerships as a way to
build stronger interconnections between research, industry and supply chains,
and to develop capabilities and drive innovation through the economy.

“The Australian chemistry
industry plays a critical enabling role, supplying inputs to 109 of Australia’s
111 industries. We see that the industry can make a significant contribution
through collaboration with all five Growth Centres including food and
agribusiness; mining equipment, technology and services; oil, gas and energy
resources; medical technologies and pharmaceuticals; and advanced
manufacturing, because the industry plays a key role in each of these value

“There are extremely
significant and exciting opportunities that the industry is ready to grasp. We
must stay focused on the big picture and continue the work to remove barriers
to growth, as set out in the industry’s Strategic Roadmap.

“Market-based reforms of
Australia’s gas markets through the Government’s Energy White Paper process and
State-based development are a crucial part of this bigger picture. Gas is
critical for chemical feedstocks and for process energy throughout Australian
manufacturing, commerce and communities. It plays a vital role in Australia’s
robust, diverse and competitive future.

“We look forward to the
continued work with federal, state and territory governments to ensure that the
global drive for growth is backed by strong domestic industry strategy and
policy development,” said Read.

[Download the ‘PACIA Strategic
Industry Roadmap’]

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