Victoria’s only Aboriginal certified print manufacturer pushes through COVID-19 challenges

VICTORIA'S only 100 percent Indigenous-ertified social enterprise owned and operated print manufacturing company, Currency Print And Corporate Communications (CPCC) recently welcomed the Federal Government's $1.5 billion Modern Manufacturing Strategy -- and went to work.

The Federal Government’s 2020-21 Budget included the $1.5 billion Modern Manufacturing Strategy, which aims to help Australian manufacturers to become more competitive, build resilient supply chains and grow. 

"We welcome the announcement of this initiative which aims to support Australian manufacturers to be recognised as a high-quality and sustainable helping to deliver a strong, modern and resilient economy for all Australians," CPCC CEO Sara Stuart said.

However, she said, funds have currently been suppressed from the manufacturing with only $40 million allocated for this financial year from the Federal Government’s proposed $1.5 billion. She warned Australia was in its first recession in three decades and businesses were begging for support, but government bureaucracy and red tape appeared to be getting in the way. 
"While we welcome this initiative, we also recognise that it is limited in its scope and short-sighted in its timing, providing almost nothing to the sector at a time when we need to restructure and rebuild," Ms Stuart said. "The strategy fails to provide supply chain support to the priority industry sectors.

"Without strong and viable local supply chains these industries will still need to seek off-shore suppliers in order to be competitive and successful. This scheme does nothing to address this issue, which ultimately weakens our manufacturing sector and economy.

"We believe that more pressure should be applied to ensure print manufacturing stays here in Australia instead of government buying from overseas suppliers. We have enough print manufacturers here in Australia to service the sector, however, without the support, more jobs will be lost," Ms Stuart said. 

"We are not asking anyone to increase their print spend, just spend it here with Australia business and give the Aboriginal printers a fair go. We are not asking for a handout, We just want to be given the opportunity to help government and corporate clients meet their procurement targets."

Many government bodies and large corporates have procurement targets for engaging with Indigenous businesses.

According to Ms Stuart, manufacturing is a powerful Australian economic force, despite the low prioritisation from government over recent decades, the value of which has been proven in Japan after World War Two and more recently in China where most of today's products are manufactured. Manufacturing aroudn the world has created trillions of revenue, millions of jobs and lifted more people out of poverty in recent years -- but in Australia the sector has been in decline and the folly of that has been highlighted by the COVID-19 pandemic's ramifications.


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