Industry Action Plans and taskforces to strengthen and grow NSW economy

16 September 2011

Deputy Premier Andrew Stoner has announced that manufacturing, professional services, the digital economy, international education and research and tourism and events would be the first five sectors targeted by the NSW Government under its Industry Action Plans.

Speaking at the GAP Annual Growth Summit, Mr Stoner also announced the Chairs of the Industry Taskforces that will be tasked with developing the Industry Action Plans, in partnership with the NSW Government.

Mr Stoner said the first five sectors being targeted for Industry Action Plans and Industry Taskforces are:

  • Manufacturing – with a focus on processed food and beverage manufacturing; metal manufacturing; and machinery and equipment manufacturing including biomedical and medical devices, renewable energy technology, and defence equipment. The Taskforce will be chaired by Andrew King, from Capstone Partners who has had a 40 year career in manufacturing, including with Rheem/Southcorp, Carrier Airconditioning and Victa.
  • Professional Services - focused on finance and insurance; legal and regulatory services; and engineering services. The Taskforce will be led by the Honourable Warwick Smith AM, Chair of ANZ Bank NSW and ACT.
  • The Digital Economy - focused on digital content and applications; information services and analytics; and smart networks and intelligent technologies. The Taskforce will be chaired by Glenn Wightwick, Director of IBM Research and Development Australia.
  • International Education and Research - with a focus on pursuing education export opportunities (from both public and private providers), building international education and research collaborations; and pursuing opportunities for innovation in education delivery. A Chair for this Taskforce will be announced soon.
  • Tourism and Events - a Visitor Economy Taskforce is already established and chaired by Russell Balding AO, former CEO of Sydney Airport, to develop a tourism and events strategy to double tourism expenditure to NSW by 2020.

Mr Stoner said the NSW Government is establishing Industry Taskforces and developing Industry Action Plans to strengthen key sectors of the State's economy for the future.

"The NSW Government is committed to working alongside industry to increase the competitiveness of key sectors of the State's economy as part of our NSW 2021 strategic plan," Mr Stoner said.

"We are establishing 10 year Industry Action Plans that will be developed by Industry Taskforces in partnership with the NSW Government, with support from the Department of Trade and Investment and the NSW Innovation Council.

"The Industry Action Plans and Industry Taskforces will identify what both industry and government can do to strengthen key NSW industries in the face of challenges within Australia and overseas.

"These Industry Action Plans will help us rebuild the NSW economy from the ground up.

"We are delighted to have some of the best and brightest in the business world heading up our Industry Taskforces, including The Hon. Warwick Smith AM and Russell Balding AO."

Mr Stoner said the final Industry Action Plans, due for release in 2012, will:

  • Outline a vision and 10 year development strategy for each industry, with immediate priorities to be addressed in 2012;
  • Identify drivers for, and barriers to, growth and innovation, including those caused by government practices;
  • Detail a program and mechanisms for government and industry to encourage sector growth, competitiveness and innovation; and
  • Contain key performance indicators including clear timetables and benchmarks to monitor progress.

Mr Steven Harker, Chair of the NSW Innovation Council, said: "The Industry Action Plans and Industry Taskforces will be directed to strategically drive economic growth and resilience, improve innovation and productivity, boost global competitiveness, and target new investment and job opportunities."

Mr Stoner said the full memberships of the Industry Taskforces, as well as the Chair of the International Education and Research Taskforce, are currently being finalised and will soon be announced.

Further sectors of our economy will be considered for Industry Action Plans and Industry Taskforces at a later stage.

"As well as the Industry Taskforces, we will be undertaking thorough engagement with the community, including through metropolitan and regional forums, online consultation and a request for submissions," Mr Stoner said.

"We invite members of the public to register their interest in the consultation process by visiting www.business.nsw.gov.au

"We want to ensure that those with ideas can contribute their suggestions and that the ideas and measures developed by the Taskforces are driven from industry," Mr Stoner said.