Manufacturing in Australia

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Adults employed in the manufacturing industry as a percentage of the adult population in Australia divided geographically by statistical local area, as of the 2011 census Australian Census 2011 demographic map - Australia by SLA - BCP field 7354 Manufacturing Total.svg
Adults employed in the manufacturing industry as a percentage of the adult population in Australia divided geographically by statistical local area, as of the 2011 census
Income from sales of goods and services by manufacturers ($ millions) since 1985 ABS-5676.0-BusinessIndicatorsAustralia-ManufacturingSubdivisonIncomeFromSalesGoodsServicesChainVolumeMeasures-Sales-TotalState-Manufacturing-ChainVolumeMeasures-TotalScp scope-A3538809X.svg
Income from sales of goods and services by manufacturers ($ millions) since 1985

Manufacturing in Australia peaked in the 1960s at 25% of the country's gross domestic product, and has since dropped below 10%.



Quarterly gross operating profits ($millions) in the manufacturing industry since 1994 ABS-5676.0-BusinessIndicatorsAustralia-CompanyGrossOperatingProfitsCurrentPrices-GrossOperatingProfits-TotalState-Manufacturing-CurrentPrice-Corp-A3531629L.svg
Quarterly gross operating profits ($millions) in the manufacturing industry since 1994
Australia's export price index for manufactured goods since 1990. ABS-6457.0-InternationalTradePriceIndexesAustralia-ExportPriceIndexBySitcIndexNumbersPercentageChanges-IndexNumbers-ManufacturedGoodsClassifiedChieflyByMaterial6-A2295543A.svg
Australia's export price index for manufactured goods since 1990.
Australia's import price index for manufactured goods since 1981. ABS-6457.0-InternationalTradePriceIndexesAustralia-ImportPriceIndexBySitcIndexNumbersPercentageChanges-IndexNumbers-6ManufacturedGoodsClassifiedChieflyByMaterial-A2295786V.svg
Australia's import price index for manufactured goods since 1981.

The contribution of manufacturing to Australia's gross domestic product peaked in the 1960s at 25%, and had dropped to 13% by 2001–2 [1] and 10.5% by 2005–6. [2] In 2004–05, the manufacturing industry exported products worth $67,400 million, and employed 1.1 million people. [3]

Gross domestic product market value of goods and services produced within a country

Gross domestic product (GDP) is a monetary measure of the market value of all the final goods and services produced in a period of time, often annually. GDP (nominal) per capita does not, however, reflect differences in the cost of living and the inflation rates of the countries; therefore using a basis of GDP per capita at purchasing power parity (PPP) is arguably more useful when comparing differences in living standards between nations.

In 2000–2001, $3.3 billion was spent on assistance to the manufacturing industry, with 40% going to the textile, clothing and footwear industry and the passenger motor vehicle industry. [4] At that time, manufacturing accounted for 48% of exports, and 45% of Australian research and development. [1]

Research and development general term for activities in connection with corporate or governmental innovation

Research and development, known in Europe as research and technological development (RTD), refers to innovative activities undertaken by corporations or governments in developing new services or products, or improving existing services or products. Research and development constitutes the first stage of development of a potential new service or the production process.

In 2007, the breakdown of manufacturing by state, and the fraction of gross state product (GSP) which it contributed, were as follows: [5]

StatePercentage of national manufacturingPercentage of GSP
New South Wales 3210
Victoria 2812
Queensland 179
South Australia 813
Western Australia 108
Tasmania 313
Northern Territory 17
Australian Capital Territory 0.52

Between 2001 and 2007, the approximate breakdown by industry changed as follows: [5]

IndustryPercent in 2001Percent in 2007
Food, beverages and tobacco 1919
Textile, clothing and footwear 53
Wood and paper products76
Printing, publishing and recorded media 1010
Petroleum, coal and chemical products 1514
Non-metal mineral products45
Metal products1819
Machinery and equipment1719
Other manufacturing 44

Food processing

Quarterly sales by Australian manufacturing businesses of food products ($A millions) since 1985 ABS-5676.0-BusinessIndicatorsAustralia-ManufacturingSubdivisonIncomeFromSalesGoodsServicesCurrentPrices-Sales-TotalState-FoodProductManufacturing-CurrentPrice-TotalScp scope-A3529910X.svg
Quarterly sales by Australian manufacturing businesses of food products ($A millions) since 1985

The food and beverage manufacturing industry is the largest in Australia. The sectors include the following: [6]

SectorTurnover(2005–06, $millions)
Meat and meat products17,836
Beverage and malt manufacturing13,289
Dairy products 9,991
Sugar and confectionery manufacturing6,456
Fruit and vegetable processing4,672
Bakery products4,005
Flour mill and cereal food manufacturing3,692
Oil and fat manufacturing1,547
Seafood processing1,330 *
Other food manufacturing8,554

* Before the 2010 closure of the Port Lincoln Tuna cannery

Textile industry

Until trade liberalisation in the mid 1980s, Australia had a large textile industry[ citation needed ]. This decline continued through the first decade of the 21st century. [5] Since the 1980s, tariffs have steadily been reduced; in early 2010, the tariffs were reduced from 17.5 percent to 10 percent on clothing, and 7.5–10% to 5% for footwear and other textiles. [7] As of 2010, most textile manufacturing, even by Australian companies, is performed in Asia.

Free trade policy in which countries governments do not restrict imports from, or exports to, other countries

Free trade is a trade policy that does not restrict imports or exports; it can also be understood as the free market idea applied to international trade. In government, free trade is predominantly advocated by political parties that hold liberal economic positions while economically left-wing and nationalist political parties generally support protectionism, the opposite of free trade.

Textile Material produced by twining, weaving, felting, knotting, or otherwise processing natural or synthetic fibers

A textile is a flexible material consisting of a network of natural or artificial fibers. Yarn is produced by spinning raw fibres of wool, flax, cotton, hemp, or other materials to produce long strands. Textiles are formed by weaving, knitting, crocheting, knotting or tatting, felting, or braiding.

Total employment in Australian textile, clothing and footwear manufacturing (thousands of people) since 1984 ABS-6291.0.55.003-LabourForceAustraliaDetailedQuarterly-EmployedPersonsByIndustrySubdivisionSex-EmployedTotal-TextileLeatherClothingFootwearManufacturing-Persons-A2546111A.svg
Total employment in Australian textile, clothing and footwear manufacturing (thousands of people) since 1984

Motor vehicles

As of 2008, four companies mass produced cars in Australia. [8] Mitsubishi ceased production in March 2008, followed by Ford in 2016, and Holden and Toyota in 2017. [9]

Holden bodyworks are manufactured at Elizabeth, South Australia and engines are produced at the Fishermens Bend plant in Port Melbourne, Victoria. In 2006, Holden's export revenue was just under A$ 1.3 billion. [10] In March 2012, Holden was given a $270 million lifeline by the Australian government. In return, Holden planned to inject over $1 billion into car manufacturing in Australia. They estimated the new investment package would return around $4 billion to the Australian economy and see GM Holden continue making cars in Australia until at least 2022. [11] However, Holden announced on 11 December 2013 that Holden cars would no longer be manufactured in Australia from the end of 2017. [12]

Ford has two main factories, both in Victoria: located in the Geelong suburb of Norlane and the northern Melbourne suburb of Broadmeadows. Both plants were closed down in October 2016.

Until 2006, Toyota had factories in Port Melbourne and Altona, Victoria. Since then, all manufacturing has been at Altona. In 2008, Toyota exported 101,668 vehicles worth $1,900 million. [13] In 2011 the figures were "59,949 units worth $1,004 million". [14] On 10 February 2014 it was announced that by the end of 2017 Toyota would cease manufacturing vehicles and engines in Australia. [15]

In March 2012, a new Australian auto maker, Tomcar, announced they are to build a new factory in Melbourne. [8]

Ford AustraliaGeelong VICCarsExample2016 TBC
Ford AustraliaBroadmeadows VICExampleExampleExample
HoldenPort Melbourne VICEnginesExample2016 TBC
HoldenElizabeth SACarsExample2017 TBC

Chemical industry

Quarterly sales by Australian manufacturing businesses of basic chemicals and chemical products ($A millions) since 1985 ABS-5676.0-BusinessIndicatorsAustralia-ManufacturingSubdivisonIncomeFromSalesGoodsServicesCurrentPrices-Sales-TotalState-BasicChemicalChemicalProductManufacturing-CurrentPrice-TotalScp scope-A3529954A.svg
Quarterly sales by Australian manufacturing businesses of basic chemicals and chemical products ($A millions) since 1985
Total employment in basic chemicals and chemical product manufacturing in Australia (thousands of people) since 1984 ABS-6291.0.55.003-LabourForceAustraliaDetailedQuarterly-EmployedPersonsByIndustrySubdivisionSex-EmployedTotal-BasicChemicalChemicalProductManufacturing-Persons-A2546126T.svg
Total employment in basic chemicals and chemical product manufacturing in Australia (thousands of people) since 1984

Australia has a chemical industry, including the manufacture of many petrochemicals. [16]

Many mining companies, such as BHP and Comalco, perform initial processing of raw materials. [17] Similarly, Australia's agriculture feeds into the chemical industry. Tasmania produces 40% of the world's raw narcotic materials; [18] some of this is locally converted into codeine and other pharmaceuticals in Tasmania by Tasmanian Alkaloids, owned by Johnson and Johnson, while GlaxoSmithKline processes some of the resulting poppy straw in Victoria.

Companies with manufacturing facilities in Australia

A partial list of companies operating manufacturing facilities in Australia, with their most important products.





Companies that no longer manufacture in Australia

Companies that closed down, or moved manufacturing offshore.

Australian Owned:


See also

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