By CASEY NEILL
PREMIER Daniel Andrews has put his support behind a manufacturing super showcase which is set to stop traffic in Dandenong next May.
The Drum Theatre stage hosted a launch for the Dandenong and South East Manufacturing Super Event on Tuesday 10 November. Committee for Dandenong, South East Melbourne Manufacturers Alliance (SEMMA) and the City of Greater Dandenong are working together on the National Manufacturing Week event.
The launch was designed to drum up financial support to employ an international events co-ordinator. Committee for Dandenong chairman Gary Castricum said last year’s Dandenong on Wheels event had impact.“We got their attention,” he said. “This time we’d like to close the main street to really get people’s attention. “We don’t want to hear about the woes of Ballarat and Geelong, do we? “We want students and future engineers to believe the City of Dandenong is a good place to work.”
Mr Castricum said the showcase would also paint a positive picture for future customers, investors and suppliers. “We’re working with government to bring a super reverse trade mission into Dandenong for that event,” he said. Already financially committed to the event are Actco-Pickering, Bombardier, Chisholm, Cardinia Shire Council, Hilton Manufacturing, Iveco, Macpherson Kelley Lawyers, Norden Body Works, Volgren and Cablex. Mr Castricum encouraged more businesses to get on board.
Mr Andrews told the Journal that there was a lot of good work going on in the south eastern suburbs and he looked forward to attending the showcase. “People are trying very hard to not just talk about a new economy and new jobs but to create those really important opportunities – new products into new markets – using all the skills that we’ve got now to try and shape the future rather than being a victim of it,” he said. Mr Andrews said it was easy to be negative “and say 65 per cent of auto componentry is coming out of this corridor, therefore the future must be a bleak one”. “I don’t take that view. No one here takes that view,” he said. “You can solve problems and turn them into the opportunities that we know they can be. “It’s about time we were much more positive about the future – not naive, we do have some challenges, there’s no doubt about that – but let’s be upbeat and confident and let’s make sure that we take advantage of every opportunity.”
Article re-posted from the Dandenong Journal