Mining boom to boost local suppliers in Australia

12 May 2011

12 May 2011 | Lindsay Clark

The Australian government has introduced an AUS$34.4 million (£22.5 million) package to help domestic manufacturing firms benefit from the nation’s mining industry boom.

Announced during this week's budget, the Buy Australian at Home and Abroad initiative will include AUS$12.1 million (£7.9 million) funding over four years to expand the ‘supplier advocates programme’ to promote local firms to buyers in the mining sector, including the employment of four more staff.

The Australian economy has benefited from the boom in commodities, which has boosted its mining sector. However, the subsequent strength of the Australian dollar has made life difficult for the country’s manufacturers seeking export growth.

The scheme is designed to help address this problem, in part through procurement. It will spend AUS$4.4 million (£2.9 million) over four years to expand the ‘supplier access to major projects programme’ which places industry specialists in the procurement teams of some of Australia's major resources sector companies to ensure the capabilities of local suppliers are appropriately represented.

The initiative also allocates AUS$2.5 million (£1.6 million) over four years to establish a ‘resources sector supplier advisory forum’ comprising representatives from major raw materials companies, manufacturers, mining technology firms and unions. The goal is to boost the role of domestic companies in the mining industry.

Wayne Swan, Australia’s deputy prime minister and treasurer, said: “This package responds to the challenges and opportunities emerging from the current patchwork economy and the high Australian dollar by assisting manufacturers to take advantage of new growth prospects.

“This package will help manufacturers to build on existing skills and identify new supply opportunities in the resources sector.”

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