South Australia’s Manufacturing Industry

The Hon. A.L. McLACHLAN ( 14:54 :00 ): I seek leave to make a brief explanation before asking the Minister for Manufacturing and Innovation a question regarding South Australia’s manufacturing industry.

Leave granted.


The Hon. A.L. McLACHLAN: A report recently published by the University of Adelaide’s DrĀ Ronald Grill has revealed that Adelaide’s electronic industry could be the state’s advanced manufacturing saviour. I understand that the industry is currently not recognised as a key advanced manufacturing sector in the state government’s Manufacturing Works strategy. My questions are:

1.Has the Advanced Manufacturing Council established by the government been monitoring the performance of the electronics industry in South Australia?

2.Is the government considering recognising this industry as one of the state’s key advanced manufacturing sectors in its Manufacturing Works strategy?


The Hon. K.J. MAHER (Minister for Manufacturing and Innovation, Minister for Automotive Transformation, Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation) ( 14:54 :45 ): I thank the honourable member for his question. I am afraid it is again a very perceptive and insightful question, and he again lays down the challenge to those on his front bench. So I thank the honourable member for his very, very good question.

Members interjecting:


The Hon. K.J. MAHER: And the frontbenchers get very angry when he asks such insightful questions; they are interjecting all the time. As the honourable member insightfully points out, the electronics industry and manufacturing of electronics goods is a very important industry for South Australia. There is no doubt that electronics and technology play a central role in the competitiveness of the South Australian manufacturing industry. They support innovation, driving product and service development, and improving manufacturing performance. They will play a key role in driving change and will help to underpin the transformation of the South Australian economy.

There are a number of areas the government is supporting that have direct linkages to supporting the electronics industry. Some of the programs that the electronics industry can avail themselves of, and some that they have recently, include:

the $750,000 program to facilitate engagement between manufacturers and public research organisations to develop medical technology under the Medical Technologies Program. To date, 10 projects have been accepted in this program from 65 applicants.

$750,000 for the delivery of the Photonics Catalyst Program to connect South Australian manufacturers with emerging laser and sensor technologies being developed at the University of Adelaide’s Institute of Photonics and Advanced Sensing. I had the good fortune of visiting them last week and was exceptionally impressed with the work they are doing. To date, under that program, 10 projects have been accepted into the Photonics Catalyst Program and an additional 35 projects are in the pipeline.

$500,000 has been allocated to deliver the NanoConnect Program for companies to access advanced nanotechnologies for application to their business. Currently, the program has 15 manufacturers exploring new opportunities to experiment with nanotechnologies.

These key enabling technology programs are successfully supporting the development of new high-value niche products, components and service offerings with clear commercial potential and which predominantly will require input in the areas of electronics design, manufacture, assembly and integration. In addition, the state government is seeking to build on these programs and explore new opportunities in other areas that will assist our ongoing and potentially very lucrative electronics industry.

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