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Awards recognise excellence in manufacturing

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Siemens Logistics & Assembly Systems based in Belrose, NSW, was named Manufacturer of the Year at the annual Manufacturers Monthly Endeavour Awards presentation, sponsored by Crown Lift Trucks .

The company, which develops integrated logistics and manufactures material handling equipment for a range of industries, was also the winner of the environmental solution award and the safety scheme of the year award.

Winners, highly commended and finalists were presented with their awards at a gala breakfast ceremony, hosted by Blue Scope Steel and held in Sydney on the 31 August.

Industry minister, Ian Macfarlane, was the guest of honour for the event which was attended by over 120 key representatives from across Australia’s manufacturing industry.

Brett Perry, plant engineering and safety manager with Siemens Logistics and Assembly Systems, said he was very honoured to receive the award on behalf of the company.

“Siemens has gone through substantial growth in the last five years, which has seen the company double its manufacturing, improve its cleaner manufacturing performance and improve safety.

“We are very proud of the results we have achieved especially to our lost time injury rate which has been reduced by 80% over the last five years and our lost time severity rate which has been reduced by 90%.

“It’s a great position to be in, improving cleanliness, safety and business at the same time and we are very proud of that achievement,” Perry told the audience.

Macfarlane took the opportunity to promote the government’s role in providing a stable economic environment…. “low interest rates and low inflation which enables Australian manufacturers to compete on a global scale”.

“Manufacturing now has a higher average growth rate than the agriculture, services and mining industries. It has taken continual revision of investment and production strategies to get there – that’s the reality of doing business in a global market. I defy anyone to say the industry has had to go it alone in this re-structure and resurgence. There’s the $1.4bn provided by this government through two industry assistance packages – and the freezing of tariffs,” Macfarlane said.

He went on to discuss how important it was for Australian manufacturers to participate in overseas markets in order to maintain growth and jobs.

“Quality and innovation will be the keys to competing with the Chinese giant – but it’s just too big a market to turn our backs on. However, I will want to see the advantages and opportunities to Australian manufacturers before supporting any final free trade agreement.

“There will also have to be some definite guarantees in areas including protection of IP and anti-dumping measures. I only ask that you (manufacturers) get involved from your side of things too,” he said.

A sentiment echoed by Mark Goodsell, NSW Director of the Australian Industry Group who stressed that the free trade agreement should be pursued but not at any cost to manufacturing.

The judges for this year’s awards, included Mark Goodsell, were Bill Ferme, president of the Manufacturing Society of Australia; Laszlo Nemes, science director with CSIRO’s Complex System integration; Derek Lark, executive director of the Industry Capability Network; and Alan Johnson, editor of Manufacturers Monthly.

The Endeavour Awards are open to all manufacturers regardless of size. Entries for the 2006 Awards will open in February 2006, for more information call Alan Johnson on 02 9422 2480.

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