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Chemistry Australia Launch: Samantha Read - Speech

Samantha Read

CEO, Chemistry Australia
Chemistry Australia Launch

21 March 2017
Parliament House, Canberra

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Minister, Members of Parliament and Senators, Members of the Chemistry Australia Board, Distinguished guests, Ladies and Gentlemen, it is a privilege to be here today.

Before we begin I would like to acknowledge the Ngunnawal and Ngambri peoples - who are the traditional custodians of the Canberra area and pay respect to the elders, past and present, of all Australia's Indigenous peoples.

I am Samantha Read, CEO of Chemistry Australia, the pre-eminent national body representing Australia’s $40 billion chemistry industry. We are delighted to welcome you to our National Launch.

And I am particularly delighted to welcome our Guest of Honour, Senator the Honorable Arthur Sinodinos, Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science.

Embracing Change

Many of you will have known and worked with us as PACIA. We are proud of this history, indeed 22 years of representing the Australian chemistry industry.

It’s no exaggeration to say that the domestic and global operating environments have undergone seismic shifts in this time.

We recognise this. We embrace it.

Becoming Chemistry Australia is an important part of our strategy to adapt to this change.

Importantly it allows us to start the conversation at a different point ­- with a focus on the enabling qualities of chemistry throughout the economy.

We have a powerful story to share. And ensuring that the Association’s brand reflects the innovative and proactive approach of our industry, is fundamental.

The Roadmap and value chains

As I mentioned, embracing change is essential and our industry is proactive in its response to the changing conditions.

Four years ago, the CSIRO delivered a series of reports that examined the global megatrends affecting this industry.

This work underpinned the development of our Strategic Industry Roadmap, which describes how the industry could positively address these trends and global challenges. We believe this strategic and holistic approach has never been more relevant.

And I say holistic, because we are talking about understanding the contribution of the industry right through Australia’s value chains.

We often hear about the challenges facing industry. But last week I had the pleasure of attending the launch of the new Axieo Carbon Black Masterbatch facility in Lara, Victoria.

This is a significant investment in Australian manufacturing, bringing jobs to the region, and enabling important value chains, such as its use in polyethylene irrigation pipes to minimise UV damage. This benefits farmers and their downstream customers.

But what struck me was the belief and commitment by Axieo to locally manufacture the product - they backed their people, their capability and ingenuity with the belief they could do it better than their imported competitors. So, Sam and Jade – congratulations on this achievement.

Also in Lara, SNF Australia will add $2.1 million from the Federal Government to its own $9.2 million investment to establish a liquid acrylamide plant.

The product, which is used to manufacture polymers for use in water reclamation, will not only open-up new markets for SNF and boost local manufacturing jobs, it will also enable other industries to conduct their business more sustainably.

These are just a few examples of the Australian chemistry industry’s central enabling role in so many value chains.

In fact, it provides critical inputs into nearly every other industry in the Australian economy.

This critical industry:

  • Provides inputs which enable 109 of Australia’s 111 industries
  • Contributes over $11.9bn in industry value add
  • is Australia’s second largest manufacturing sector
  • Directly employs more than 60,000 people
  • Many of these in highly-skilled STEM jobs

This is an extremely valuable contribution to our economy and Australian communities. But this is only part of the picture – the products of the business of chemistry are also essential to our everyday lives.

Imagine life without:

  • Clean water
  • Fresh food - kept fresher for longer by smart packaging solutions which increase shelf life
  • Medical dressings - to assist patients recovering from surgeries
  • Coating technologies - to help protect our valuable infrastructure and our homes from Australia’s harsh climate.

As Chemistry Australia, we are looking forward to bringing this important story to a wider audience. And we are delighted to be here today to celebrate the fresh face of Australia’s business of chemistry.


Chemistry Australia Media contacts:
Krista Imberger – [email protected] or 0439 318 290
Claire Selby – [email protected] or 0448 028 876

Chemistry Australia is the pre-eminent national body representing the $40 billion Australian chemistry industry, one of the largest manufacturing sectors in the country. The industry employs more than 60,000 people and contributes more than $11.6 billion to GDP in industry value add. Members of Chemistry Australia are positioned across the entire value chain including manufacturers, importers and distributors, logistics and supply chain partners, raw material suppliers, fabricators, compounders, recyclers, research, academia and service providers to the industry. These businesses range from small family-owned companies to leading national and multinational enterprises.




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