Manufacturing has changed the world and is itself changing, more fundamentally than at any time since the industrial revolution. Does this spell the end of manufacturing in Australia, or a new beginning?

Our immediate challenge is that the resources boom has ‘hollowed out’ the sector in a number of ways. First, the high Australian dollar, associated with rising commodity prices, has made traditional low cost manufacturing uncompetitive. This has come to be known as the “Dutch disease”, following the similar impact of North Sea gas discoveries in the 1970s