SBS shines light on plight
SOME would consider it their 15 minutes of fame but for one Warwick business owner an interview with a national news broadcaster was more than that.
It was his chance to draw attention to the plight of Australia's manufacturing industry.
Environdata owner and managing director Peter Rodeck said his appearance on SBS's Insight was about raising public awareness of the issue.
"The show is about the decline in the manufacturing industry that has dropped from 23% to 8% over the last 30 years," Mr Rodeck said.
"It also focuses on the Australian manufacturing industry and recent subsidies the government has given to the car industry to stop further decline.
Mr Rodeck said many of the manufacturing industry's problems stem from national government policies.
"The government free trade policy is unfair to local manufacturers and primary producers who are expected to remain internationally competitive while paying high Australian wages and benefits," he said.
"It is not that the wages and benefits are wrong but that local manufacturers and primary producers need to be compensated or there needs to be a policy change.
"The government's policy of a floating exchange rate also creates long-term uncertainly in international competitiveness for businesses and adds an uncontrollable risk to investing in these industries.
"With the current policies and at this current rate of loss we will lose half our manufacturing base over the next five years and with it in excess of 500,000 jobs.
"The point is that niche players and innovative ideas will always be ahead of the field but they too are swimming against the tide."
With more than 40 years experience in the manufacturing industry and the last 30 operating Environdata, Mr Rodeck hoped this episode of Insight, a leading forum for debate, would encourage change.
"I hope the show will create more public awareness of the problem and that industry leaders start speaking up about the problems and ultimately come to a solution," Mr Rodeck said.
Tonight's episode of Insight was filmed last Wednesday night in Sydney and will be repeated on tomorrow at 1pm and at 7.30pm on Friday on SBS TWO.
When: Tonight, 8.30pm, SBS.
What: With the Australian manufacturing industry on the downturn, the question of whether struggling companies should be subsidised, or allowed to fail, is examined.