Michael Sukkar MP

Federal Member for Deakin.
Minister for Housing & Assistant Treasurer.
image description

Adjournment: Supporting manufacturing in Deakin

On a slightly more up-beat note, tonight I want to discuss a couple of wonderful local success stories from the electorate of Deakin, which are examples of how we can approach the economic challenges and the globally competitive forces that we will face as a country. As people in my home state of Victoria know all too well, the days of heavy industrial manufacturing that just caters to a very small, local market will not provide us with the opportunities or the jobs of the future. Industry policy in this country is no longer dictated by a small group of highly unionised industries, which just leverage taxpayers funds to prop up uncompetitive businesses and justify unsustainable wage increases. It is why this government is focussed on providing Australian businesses with all of the opportunities to grasp their own futures and to carve out markets for themselves.

We now have unimaginable access to the markets of Japan, Korea and China, not to mention all of the nations involved in the Trans-Pacific Partnership. This provides opportunities for our businesses to get access to these new markets with a range of products—95 per cent of our products. This presents enormous opportunities for businesses in the electorate of Deakin. I want to point out a couple of the businesses that have really grasped these opportunities to date, and I am confident that they will continue to do so into the future.

The first is Trajan Scientific and Medical, based in Ringwood. Led very capably by Stephen and Angela Tomisich, Trajan is a leading manufacturer of medical devices and advanced medical consumables. Established in 2011, Trajan has since acquired three established businesses in the field of scientific and medical research products and have gone onto employ more than 300 staff, with a large R&D capability. In addition to their impressive and profitable suite of existing products and, while many businesses might rest on their laurels for having made these, Trajan is also leading the way on commercialising valuable research into local manufacturing opportunities. For example, Trajan has recently entered into a strategic partnership with the University of Adelaide, where scientists from the Institute for Photonics and Advanced Sensing and the School of Physical Sciences will work with Trajan to commercialise their research into products that we hope will ultimately benefit human health and wellbeing. Trajan is leading the way in showing how research institutions and manufacturers can work together to power the National Innovation and Science Agenda.

They were also one of eleven Victorian manufactures that are now benefiting from $27.4 million in grants announced late last year under the Next Generation Manufacturing Investment Programme, which forms a key component of the Commonwealth’s $155 million Growth Fund. In Victoria there was, as you would understand, an incredibly strong response to the program from a diverse range of businesses, but I am very pleased that Trajan was able to receive $750-odd thousand as part of a $1.8 million project they are undertaking to develop their high precision, advanced medical manufacturing. I want to congratulate Stephen and Angela Tomisich and all of the team at Trajan. I want to emphasise our commitment to supporting them and their employees.

In my remaining time, I also want to mention another great local success story, and that is Luna Nameplate Industries. Based in Bayswater North, LNI has historically been highly reliant on the automotive industry as a component manufacturer. In particular, they manufactured car badges and emblems, and, indeed, most of the cars that you see driving around would have an emblem or a badge from LNI. But LNI has for many years, long before the demise of the automotive industry, been seeking opportunities to diversify their business and inoculate their business from such an event. They have pursued other opportunities, including labels, decals, nameplates and a range of industrial and consumer products. They are now getting into licensed products—retail products that they will be exporting around the world, but particularly to South-East Asia.

To support these activities, LNI recently received a $440,000 grant under the Automotive Diversification Programme. We are assisting them and their employees to grow their business and to diversify. These are two wonderful examples from the Deakin electorate, and I am sure there will be many more into the future.

Click here to access a PDF copy of the Hansard transcript of this speech.

Click here to view a video of this speech on YouTube.