Value-add should be key to Australian prosperity - Minister

25th August 2023 By: Esmarie Iannucci - Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor: Australasia

PERTH ( – Australia’s future prosperity will centre on its ability to value-add, rather than just relying on extraction, Industry and Science Minister Ed Husic said this week.

“Australia has had a fantastic economic run for most of the last three decades. We’ve capitalised well on our natural resources strengths and we’ll continue to do so into the future.  

“Yet, Australia’s ongoing success will also be dependent on how we use Australian know-how - on how we value add,” Husic said.

“Growth, jobs and the flexibility to respond to economic shocks will come from making more things in Australia. Value-add means doing things differently. It means reimagining how things are done. It means coming up with good ideas then turning them into reality. We’ve got catching up to do.”

Husic noted that in less than 30 years, Australia had fallen 38 places in Harvard’s Economic Complexity Index, and was now ranking 93rd out of 133 countries, more than 50 places below Canada.

“The huge gains made by middle countries over the last 25 years are those who have decided to become the manufacturers of high-tech items. They are countries that have seen marrying research and development to manufacturing as being a great national purpose.”

The Minister said that the impact of Australia’s loss in sovereign capabilities had been brought home starkly in recent years with the country’s supply chains interrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic as well as geopolitical issues.

“If we are to address risks like these we need to rebuild our industrial capacity. Doing so will also help us seize the once-in-a-generation economic opportunities emerging from the global energy transition.

“We cannot meet our net zero targets, we cannot transform our energy landscape, we cannot help fight climate change without Australian manufacturing at the core of our efforts. Battery storage, wind turbines, solar panels all are needed - and we have the ability to make them here if we are just willing to grasp it.”