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PACIA Interface 2014 - Ross Pilling delivers Industry Address - 25 June 2014

PACIA Interface Function 2014
Industry Address

Ross Pilling

Acting Vice-Chairman, PACIA;
Chairman & Managing Director, BASF Australia & New Zealand

PACIA Interface 2014

Parliament House, Canberra
Wednesday 25 June, 2014


Ladies and Gentlemen,

On behalf of PACIA and the industry, I would like to add my welcome to our many special guests. I would like to especially welcome our Guest of Honour, the Honorable Ian Macfarlane, Minister for Industry.

Here tonight, we have senior representatives from more than 20 companies from across the industry’s supply chain, including manufacturers, raw material suppliers, importers and distributors, transport and logistics companies, and service providers to industry.

We highly value tonight’s opportunity to come together and exchange ideas that have the potential to shape our industry and Australia’s economic future.

Industry Profile

Chemistry is all around us, embedded in almost all the products and services we take for granted every day. Yet it's easy to forget just how vital chemistry is to our economy and our quality of life. The business of chemistry is a catalyst for innovation, productivity and growth right through Australia’s economy.

Through chemistry, natural gas can be turned into ammonium nitrate used to fertilize our crops; or into polyethylene used to make water pipes, milk bottles, silage wrap; or into advanced fibers, pharmaceuticals, coatings. The possibilities are almost endless.

Our researchers are working on new materials for more efficient and sustainable transport solutions, wind energy, or construction. Our chemical engineers are consistently improving lifesaving medical technologies, critical to supporting longer and healthier lives.

The chemical industry is Australia’s second largest manufacturing sector, after food and agricultural manufacturing. The $40bn industry contributes $11.6bn to Australia’s GDP and employs more than 60,000 Australians in highly skilled jobs.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, there are 111 industry sectors in the Australian economy. The chemical industry supplies critical inputs to 109 of these sectors, multiplying benefits and enabling supply chains to thrive.

We are an advanced manufacturing industry that is innovative, high value adding and highly skilled. Products and innovations in chemistry underpin critical Australian supply chains – from food and energy to mining, resources and water – leveraging areas of Australia’s international advantage.

The chemical industry has a vital role to play in supporting Australia’s position within the global energy and resources markets and in harnessing the opportunity to supply premium food products to Asia. There are amazing opportunities to build a world-class, exporting industry – if we can work together to remove barriers to growth.

This includes rethinking our framework and strategies to grow our national skills base – particularly the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics skills of our school leavers. Australia's productivity and global competitiveness depend on it.

Last year, at this same event, PACIA and CSIRO launched the first part in our Strategic Industry Roadmap Project. Since then we have developed and launched the Industry’s Roadmap itself, which identifies key short, medium and long-term actions required for our industry to grow and thrive.

The Roadmap Project underlines the industry’s proactive, strategic and collaborative approach to position for the future.

Tonight continues this important conversation.

Minister Macfarlane introduction

I am now delighted to introduce our Guest of Honour, the Honorable Ian Macfarlane, Minister for Industry.

Minister Macfarlane has a long track record working with and representing Australian industry. He has, of course, previously served as Minister for Industry, Tourism and Resources in the Howard Government.

It is with great pleasure that I now handover to the Minister.


Media contact:  Claire Selby, [email protected], 0448 028 876.
Released 16 July 2014

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