New South Wales has its first Modern Manufacturing Commissioner and “wide ranging” recommendations for reforms, but neither have been released by the state government which is withholding an announcement.
The unnamed commissioner, who has signed a contract, will lead the government’s response to an expert taskforce’s report and recommendations on the state’s first Modern Manufacturing Strategy.
The taskforce was assembled in March and provided its final report to government in July, more than a month ago.
Department of Enterprise, Investment and Trade officials told a state Budget Estimates hearing on Thursday that the report is still going through Cabinet, but would be released for noting before an official government response.
“The initial report is very comprehensive. I think the taskforce was very dedicated. They have made a number of wide-ranging recommendations,” Investment NSW trade and international managing director Kylie Bell said.
The government response will be developed with the new Modern Manufacturing Commissioner.
The Commissioner’s role was announced in December by Premier Dominic Perrottet, who said the person would be tasked with identifying “local research and ideas that we can turn into manufacturing opportunities – and ultimately, jobs for our people”.
A job advertisement for the role was open in March when the taskforce was announced. But on Thursday, officials said the role was not advertised until July 7 and a merit selection process was managed internally by the department.
Officials confirmed a successful candidate has been selected and signed a contract, and that an official announcement by the minister is expected later this month.
It is not clear who was on the selection panel, with officials opting to take the question on notice and seek advice.
The NSW government released an Advanced Manufacturing Industry Development Strategy in 2018.
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