Power Equipment Australasia

OPINION Yes, we acknowledge that our best customers for raw materials, particularly iron ore, coal, copper etc are the countries who pose the greatest potential threat. Of course, we are talking specifically here about the PRC. We know that there are companies who are completely dependent on the PRC and will fold immediately if there is conflict in the South China Sea. Imagine a world where China takes one major step - just like what we thought was impossible in the Ukraine - in the taking of Taiwan. Greg Sheridan who writes for The Australian suspects that, based on his contacts in the US, the Americans are not ready for that fight and could take up to six months to a year to be prepared. That means it’s all over before they get started and the Western Pacific belongs to China. Can we apply sanctions? Sure, that means stop export of iron ore? Will it mean we stop buying Chinese power equipment products? It could have that impact which would paralyse this country. Are our politicians ready for that? I doubt it. There are great Aussie success stories in manufacturing like Powerlite and Goldacres. Australian Pump Industries (Aussie Pumps) has 50 dedicated people churning out top quality products and selling them not just in Australia. Aussie is shipping to the world. They even plan to airfreight big 6-inch pumps to the Nile valley to save Sudan. They ship pressure cleaners to Japan and to other nations throughout the Indo-Pacific region, even exporting jetters to Hong Kong. There is hope. The trick is innovative design, strict cost control and a lean attitude that’s hard to adopt in large corporations. The writer of this feature believes there are great opportunities for innovative Australian companies provided they are brave enough to challenge the imports with higher quality and fair prices. Let third world countries focus on low-cost products, selling to people with no intention to repair the products in case of breakdowns. The Editor of this magazine, Elaine Sharman, is a great believer in Australian resilience. The Government should reintroduce the R&D Incentive Program in a way that it works. Innovators should be set up to succeed and not fail. They want more Australian manufacturing jobs. Don’t we all? Got an opinion on this subject? The author would love to hear what you say. Warwick Lorenz is Managing Director of Australian Pump Industries, an Australian company that started 28 years ago from a shed and is now a major player in the Australian market for pumps and pressure cleaners as well as building a successful export business in the international arena. JULY - AUGUST 2022 | POWER EQUIPMENT AUSTRALASIA | 29