A day of hearings by Labor's Pandemic Recovery Jobs and Industry Taskforce was held in the Hawkesbury on Tuesday, April 20, at Windsor's Deerubbin Centre.
The Taskforce was gathering evidence to help shape post-COVID business recovery and heard from local manufacturers on the best ways to help the sector expand and thrive in the Hawkesbury.
The local manufacturers gave their views on what they believed would help move their industry forward.
Taskforce acting chair, Oxley MP Milton Dick and secretary Queensland Senator Nita Green joined Macquarie MP Susan Templeman to hear from manufacturers across a broad range of sectors.
Ms Templeman said the issues that were raised during the hearing covered a wide range of topics.
"Issues raised on the day included everything from better pathways from education and training into employment, to power capacity and energy infrastructure for manufacturers in the local area, and finding suitable locations to expand the sector in the Hawkesbury," she said.
"COVID showed us just how important locally-made products are.
"The input from these local manufacturers was invaluable in giving the taskforce an insight into how the sector can expand and thrive here, which in turn will support more local jobs.
"I know the Taskforce will be taking the valuable evidence from this hearing back to use for policy-shaping change in the future."
Mr Dick said the Taskforce had conducted more than 20 hearings around the country.
"This Taskforce was established so we could hear directly from industry - both big and small businesses - about what has happened over the past 12 months," he said.
"Businesses have had to be innovative and adapt during the pandemic, and business models have been turned upside down.
"The pandemic presented an opportunity for business in this country, and sparked conversations about making things in Australia again.
"This hearing was an opportunity for manufacturing businesses in the Hawkesbury to tell us what has worked and what hasn't, and what they need for the sector to move to the next level."
Senator Green said there were unique opportunities for regions like the Hawkesbury.
"Manufacturing has always been incredibly important," she said.
"Particularly to people living outside of the cities in regional areas like the Hawkesbury because of the jobs it creates. It was good to get ideas from local businesses that we can take away and apply in other parts of the country as well."