In relation to energy policy, particularly in with regard to the gas market, rising prices and a looming gas shortage on the eastern seaboard have the potential to lead serious declines in manufacturing employment and production over the coming years.
The food and grocery manufacturing industry recognises the need to reduce carbon emissions and become more energy efficient throughout the entire supply chain and support and agree with the objective of reducing carbon emissions across the economy as part of a comprehensive global response.
The decline in the state of Australia’s infrastructure is a significant contributor to our falling international competitiveness. On the quality of road, rail, port and air transport infrastructure we lag behind many of the countries we compete with in global markets – Canada, France, Germany, New Zealand and the USA.
Infrastructure planning and delivery must have a stronger focus on the agri-food sector if we are to get goods efficiently to domestic and international markets.
In 2014, the AFGC, and a consortium of five other industry associations released a report that estimated the damaging effect of rising gas prices on Australia’s manufacturing industries. (https://www.afgc.org.au/key-projects/gas-market-reform/)
Access to natural gas is of key concern to Australia’s food and grocery manufacturing industry. Industry has called for gas market reform by increasing gas supplies, improving competition and increasing information about gas supply availability and pricing.