New research has revealed the high level of public support for manufacturing in Australia, including investment in the car industry and other manufacturing sectors.
The AMWU said that the one million jobs in Australian manufacturing were under pressure from the high Australian dollar and lower wages in some countries.
Mike Nicolaides, Acting National Secretary, said that despite the pressures in the sector, the poll results demonstrate the tremendous support for manufacturing within the Australian community.
The key findings of the research of over a thousand people showed:
• 79 per cent agree Australia should be an economy that "makes things",
• 68 per cent support current levels of industry assistance to support the 50,000 jobs in the Australian car industry, and
• 62 per cent agree that other manufacturing industries should receive similar assistance.
"These results show that there is widespread support within the community for the manufacturing industry in Australia.
"There's not only strong support for ensuring we continue to manufacture vehicles, but to ensure that we maintain a diverse and vibrant sector capable of making a whole range of things.
"Despite the significant challenges ahead in terms of the strong dollar and the conditions of our competitors – the public's position is quite clear, Australia must continue to be a country that makes things.
"We call on all political parties to acknowledge the value added by manufacturing workers and the important role they play in the Australian economy.
"Manufacturing not only provides one million jobs, but also skills and training for young people, which is essential to their future.
"Further, manufacturing in Australia is the engine for the research, development and innovation which makes us competitive and provides the possibility of economic growth.
"There are significantly more people working in manufacturing right across Australia than there are in the resource sector, something that is often lost sight of in the commentary.
"It is vital for all political parties to ensure that the manufacturing industries and the one million jobs they provide are still there for the next generation", said Mr Nicolaides.