A developed nation needs developed industry which needs developed minds

There’s speculation that Holden might move offshore by 2016.

I can’t say that I’m surprised. I know others may be, especially after the decades of selling themselves as Australian as the endless lamintons eaten on their back seats, leaving coconut flakes forever embedded in the stitching. But being Australian is increasingly bad for business.

Big business is having its patriotism tested against cheap labour in other countries with the former losing most battles. No business is so Australian that it won’t seek to reduce overheads and expensive local empoyees are just that.

To add to this, many are calling subsidies to keep Holden local. But that is nothing more than sink a for endless tax payer dollars, for, when are such overheads likely to decrease without an economic collapse?

Please don’t misread me here, I’ve not suddenly fallen in with the Gina Rinehart’s and Maurice Newman’s of the world.

We instead need to learn from equally developed nations in Europe where manufacture has turned to top end goods. You don’t see Germany, for instance, flogging off primary materials at rock bottom prices only to by them back as manufactured goods with a premium.

We could, as a suggestion, become world leaders in a relatively new industry largely still in its infancy; the so-called “Green industry”. Whether it is increasing efficiency of existing technologies, or developing new technology, there is a huge industry still in the making where we can plant a solid foot.

However, what is needed for this is a population supported by world-class education, not for just for a lucky few, but as an average and at all levels, from primary to tertiary. Investing in education and later research and development is the only way a developed nation can “level up” from primary industries to premium industries that can justify high wages. We have the resources in our lands and potential solar, nuclear and other materials to support this R&D,v which we could then sell globally.

We just lack the governance required to invest in the necessary Aussie brain power to make this happen.


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