Victorian textile manufacturers are trying to make a comeback after the collapse of the industry four decades ago.
The revival of the textile industry is one of a number of industries struggling to stay afloat after the global financial crisis, with a number struggling to attract new investment.
The Victorian textile industry has long had a reputation for being vulnerable to external forces, including commodity prices.
But its resilience has allowed it to survive, even if its competitors have become more successful in recent years.
It’s been hard to find an export market that is able to support the high quality of the fabrics that we produce,” said Tony Lutz, chief executive of the Victorian Industry Development Corporation (VDIC).”
The quality of our fabrics has come a long way since the mid-1990s, but it’s not always easy to make them, particularly when the industry has lost so much ground to other industries.
“The Victorian industry is the second-largest in the world, behind Australia.
But it is the world’s sixth-largest textile retailer, behind Germany’s Wachovia and South Korea’s LG.
In the past, textile factories had a high turnover, but the industry’s downturn led to an increase in the number of closures in recent times.
Vic’s textile production sector has been struggling to make money in recent decades.
The industry was the sixth largest in the World Trade Organisation in 2010.
Its loss of more than 80 per cent of its production in the decade to 2020 has forced it to rely heavily on overseas suppliers to get its goods to market.
Its suppliers have been the subject of much scrutiny from Australian government and industry officials.
But Victorian textile manufacturer Andrew Rimmer said it was working hard to improve its reputation and make it competitive in overseas markets.”
We are not going to lose much from a manufacturing perspective,” he said.”
I think it’s a matter of improving our brand and showing that we are competitive in the market.
“A lot of our products come from overseas and we have a very strong reputation in the marketplace.”
Industry growth in Victoria has been slowing in recent months as the global economic crisis hit the state hard.
The number of people employed in Victoria’s textile sector has decreased from 13,000 in 2007 to 11,000 last year, according to Victorian Government figures.
But the industry still accounts for more than 50 per cent or about $1 billion of the state’s total exports.
It employs about 7,000 people in the Victoria textile industry, with about 80 per of those in the manufacturing sector.
The resurgence of the sector has not yet translated into significant revenue, with the Victorian Government forecasting it will lose more than $1.1 billion in the year to 2020, up from $1bn in 2016.
The VDC is trying to attract more foreign investment to help it continue to grow.
It has made a number grants to businesses and institutions to develop and support new textile manufacturing capacity.
And it has begun to recruit staff to work in new areas, such as on the production line at its Melbourne factory, where more than 20 workers have been recruited from other textile factories.
In December, the Victorian government also announced it was introducing an additional $30 million over five years to help businesses invest in their textile facilities.
In a report to the Victorian Parliament in December, Mr Lutz said it would be a mistake to underestimate the challenges faced by the industry.
“There are many people who have been in the industry for a long time, and the business is going through some challenges that are challenging and difficult,” he told the Parliament.
“The fact that we’ve had a recession and we’ve been in this position for so long suggests that it’s going to take a while before we can get back on the road to recovery.”
Topics:business-economics-and-finance,industry,dynamics-forces-and/or-resources,trade,industries,wagga Wagga,wah,nsw,australiaFirst posted November 08, 2020 13:59:32Contact Chris RimmerMore stories from Victoria