Peter Gutwein

Premier of Tasmania

29 April 2016

Jeremy Rockliff, Deputy Premier

Caterpillar Transition Taskforce: further industry support and new Manufacturing Association

The Hodgman Liberal Government established the Caterpillar Transition Taskforce in 2015 with a goal to support the north-west community and advanced manufacturing industry in looking for ways to support the sector and secure a sustainable and globally-competitive future.

We have fast-tracked at least 156 new jobs through the Advanced Manufacturing Transition Fund, which leveraged government contribution to create enormous private investment worth nearly $10 million.

Today I am pleased to announce the final round of industry support and assistance initiatives that have been supported by the Taskforce.

These initiatives include:

·         $400,000 to support the establishment of a state-wide advanced manufacturing industry association to be administered through the Tasmanian Minerals and Energy Council.

This will enable an industry-led group to advance the needs of all Tasmanian manufacturers. This was identified as the number one priority by industry at the Advanced Manufacturing Summit that was held in May 2015 in Burnie.

·         $19,000 to conduct an Insights into Excellence advanced manufacturing industry tour in partnership with CSIRO and the Australian Department of Industry. This is a direct outcome of the industry round table held at the Industry and Manufacturing showcase held in Launceston in March.

The industry tour will include visits to Australian Government Growth Centres, several global companies, supporting industry associations and CSIRO’s Lab 22.

·         $90,000 for a University of Tasmania project that will deliver, in partnership with industry, a transition training and skills development program in industry design and technology.

The training will help to increase the capability, capacity and employability of redundant workers (and others employed in manufacturing SMEs value chains). It will also seek to reskill, advance skills and knowledge and transition to new and emerging jobs within both the advanced manufacturing sector and other industries across Tasmania.

·         $200,000 for a Manufacturing Market Expansion Program. This targeted assistance will enable Tasmanian manufacturers to undertake eligible market development activities to establish new interstate and international markets. This dollar-for-dollar support up to $10,000 will be available in 2016-17.

·         $150,000 towards an Innovation and Growth Voucher System to support manufacturing companies to diversify into more advanced manufacturing processes through accessing suitable expertise and support, on a 2-for-1 dollar basis of minimum $5000 up to $10,000 to be available in 2016-17.

·         $125,000 for the Ready to Bid for Defence initiative to assist Tasmanian firms to develop skills to promote defence capabilities and attract defence investment as well as leverage off Tasmania’s Antarctic status.

The Tasmanian Government’s priority has always been jobs and economic stimulus and these initiatives will underpin long term confidence in the manufacturing sector.

The Taskforce was allocated $3 million in Tasmanian Government funds which have now been fully committed with impressive results.

As Chair, I extend my thanks to the members of the Taskforce for their outstanding efforts:

  • Brett Smith, HR Manager at Caterpillar
  • Dan Barich, Facility Manager at Caterpillar
  • Lee Whiteley, Managing Director at Southern Prospect
  • Anita Dow, Mayor of Burnie City Council
  • Brett Whiteley, Federal Member for Braddon
  • John Short, Tasmanian State Secretary of AMWU
  • Janelle Allison, Pro Vice Chancellor at UTAS
  • Kim Evans, Secretary of Department of State Growth

Further, I would like to thank all those businesses that submitted ideas and proposals to the Taskforce for assessment. We greatly appreciated the ingenuity and enthusiasm of the industry and the opportunities on the horizon.

Today I met with industry in Burnie to unveil the new Tasmanian advanced manufacturing promotional film that was an early initiative of the Taskforce. It is a remarkable endorsement of Tasmania’s manufacturing capability - from design to manufacture, product support, and all for local, interstate and international markets. This short film production will be used by industry and all levels of Government in promoting what Tasmanian can do.

Tasmania has a proud advanced manufacturing history, and the Government will continue to work hard to ensure it has a bright future too.

The promotional film is available at

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