Manufacturing unstimulus shuts critical medical suppliers

It might just be that the only thing that is worse than a Coalition government doing its best to hollow out an economy with double Dutch disease is a Coalition government attempting to prevent it. The Morrison Government’s $1.5bn manufacturing unstimulus won’t be available until next year:

And, when it does come, will it be an arms-length panel of experts making the decision on where the dough goes? Don’t be daft. We need some sports rorts for manufacturing:

Usually, when government begins a new program of this nature it starts with good intentions and is steadily destroyed by rorting over time. I must admit it is more efficient to just cut to the endpoint and begin with the rorting. Who knows, perhaps evolution will run backward and the program will get less corrupt as it goes forward.

Whenever that is. In the meantime, the one designated winner of the new industry corruption policy that one might of thought would be considered a priority is high-tech medical.  Via AFR:

Hundreds of Perth jobs are set to go, as pharmaceutical giant Pfizer confirmed today it plans to shut its factory in Bentley.

In what a company spokesperson described as a “difficult decision”, Pfizer will cease manufacturing in Perth by 2023 and leave the site in early 2024.

The decision impacts approximately 470 employees, including John who rang Geoff Hutchison on Drive.

John has worked at the site for 27 years, and for Pfizer since it took over in 2005.

The Perth factory manufactures oncology medicines, for cancer treatment, as well as “injectable products” primarily for use in hospitals in Australia and New Zealand.

And, wait for it…

Global pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline will close its Melbourne factory that makes respiratory products after 50 years of operation, in a move that will axe 300 jobs.

But, but, but accelerated depreciation boom…

Enjoy a good old bellow laugh. It might be your last!

David Llewellyn-Smith


  1. Those closures might actually be justifiable interventions/purchases…

    We’re already grossly over-dependent on overseas medical products, as the first wave of Covid demonstrated.

    C’mon govt – do something; these might genuinely be in the national interest.

  2. What is the problem? Half the people we know who are self-employed have recently bought new or used cars around the $50K mark and are writing them off against their income tax with dodgy logbooks and compliant, nay encouraging, accountancy input. There’s your stimulus. Who needs high tech medical in a pandemic? Car salespeople are the backbone of our nation.

    • wait for 2021. I am not saying it will happen 100% but things look really ugly for 2021 if nothing changes. I know 2 people that also bought new Hiluxes as they will be writing them off – legit businesses. Both small builders. Last weekend one of them told me he’s got 1 week work and then he will have to let 2 of his workers go. He does not have enough savings to stay solvent for 3 months.

      What I am trying to say is many thought this flue thing will go away by Aug/Sep and jobs will be back.

      • It definitely has the potential to get ugly very quickly — we are still in a state of suspended reality, one in which most of the participants are fairly sanguine because either a) things will just return to normal and the economy will roar again or b) the Gubmint will ride to the rescue with more handouts. Why worry? 😉

        • people are slowly waking up to the reality though. My last few visits to the shops was wake up call for me. Shops were empty and and even the window shoppers weren’t around. It could be just me but 3 out of 3 and 3 different shopping centres.

  3. Arthur Schopenhauer

    Didn’t Scomo pronounce last week that Australia was a Technology Adopter not a Technology Developer?

    The statement sounded like it was for internal federal LNP consumption.

    Not a week goes by where you can’t say, “What a bunch of myopic deadsh!ts”.

  4. Shades of MessinaMEMBER

    Why the hell was an MNC manufacturing in WA in the first place ?. Possibly the worst place on earth to do it.

    They missed a trick though, should have spun that factory out, listed it on the ASX as a West Perth based “advanced manufacturing biotech play” at 0.80c per share and sold out at $1 before it crashed back to 0.01.

  5. To be honest, anyone that even suggests Australia can retain what’s left of it’s Manufacturing capacity, shouldn’t be listened to because they simply don’t understand modern manufacturing.
    So in the end we’re talking about implementing plans to achieve an impossible (or at the very least highly improbable) outcome. Given this, why wouldn’t our residual manufacturing ecosystem respond by deliberately rorting the scheme? Get your money in your pocket before the scheme becomes a Political embarrassment (think of this as a Manufacturers only VET scheme) Maximize your share by applying early and applying often.

  6. These companies aren’t short of money. It just makes no viable sense to manufacture here when it can be done somewhere else for much cheaper, even in their own countries. Then they can ship the products here at a much higher price and we have no choice but to accept it because we forgot how to be self sufficient.
    Even local manufacturers are deciding to shift production overseas. Its not just manufacturing either. I am starting to see services like software design and development farmed overseas. We cant even play the quality card either like france, italy or germany where they are found success in innovation, specialisation and high end products.

    • Yep. These two companies are huge multi-nationals — if there were a sound strategic reason for continuing to manufacture here they would, even if the businesses were making little money. India though has a huge pharma industry (manufacturing generics), so I suspect they’ll continue to grow.

      The answer is not to throw taxpayer money at these multi-nationals, the answer is to address the reasons for it being so costly to manufacture here, but no party is willing to ‘go there’.

  7. happy valleyMEMBER

    “Industry Innovation Science Australia”

    Minister Karen – the actual name of the body within your dept is the Office of Industry Innovation and Science Australia. However, the reality could well be that this body and CSIRO provide “advice”, suitably “guided” by the ScoVID Commission?

  8. Glaxosmithkline are entrained with Gates, his funding research in uni of Queensland is directed to go to GSK. The seratide cortisol mimic which was given me in a drip 16 years ago followed by being sent home with high dose pills plus puffer, set in line for creation of and accelerating asthma. Women around me died in av 6 years on the puffer. 2 years off it with safe puffer I am recovering, They had 106 deaths in Georgia from hep C research. Bottom line Aus could do some good research in asthma with aim to cure or close too not just more drugs and profit by exporting. It’s a wide open field. No one researches for cure. Get CSIRO onto it with decent funding as GSK no longer here so can be fought off. Huge profits, huge fines in USA and doctors get oddly emotional pushing it on “patients”.

    • you are right we still have some brilliant researchers but many are leaving OS and when it comes to manufacturing we lost economy of scale in terms of know how and supply chains as we already stripped too much. For manufacturing to come back there has to be generational shift in how things are being made so there is less reliance on supply chains.
      3D has potential but again Japan, S Korea and all EU will adopt it so we will not be able to compete.
      The only thing we will have going for us is 3D. And 3D, in many cases, can be or will be economical for small scale manufacturing that will attract some activity here but will it be enough?

  9. PaperRooDogMEMBER

    We’ll be sliding even lower down the economic complexity league. All part of becoming a banana republic … slowly at first then all of a sudden.