Aug. 18 - Australian manufacturing not dead, but in transition, industry players say. Julie Noce reports.
The sour forecast for Australia's manufacturing sector may not be as gloomy as predicted. More and more companies, like Rode Microphones, are proving the sector is changing rather than dying out. Rode manufactures more than 90 percent of the 36,000 microphones it sells every month at its factory in west Sydney. After begining initial production in China in the 1990's the company's founder Peter Freedman began building up his factory in Australia. Now he exports his products which range from lapel and smart phone mics to industry standard camera mics back to China and the rest of the world. (SOUNDBITE)(English) RODE MICROPHONES MANAGING DIRECTOR PETER FREEDMAN, SAYING: "I was in China three weeks ago and you see them operating quite old gear with five people on it, earning very little money and I laughed because my gear has got nobody running it, so good luck, they have got nothing to offer and it's such a huge barrier to entry to take me on." Even Ford, which announced earlier this year plans to close two of its Australian auto plants in 2016, has reinforced its commitment to research and development where it has spent A$1.9 billion on design and engineering over the past six years.