Resources and Energy, infrastructure and defence; where are the jobs?
We have a number of industries that are the basis of the success we have in the Hunter and Central Coast regions. Resources and energy, infrastructure and defence are the mainstays for a lot of what HunterNet does. We see these sectors as the pillars that stabilise our regions. From these sectors, a whole ecosystem is developed and in every part of the supply chain we see success, growth and job creation; as the mainstays do well, so the trickle-down effect occurs and everyone is happy.
So what happens when we lose these mainstays? The resources sector is certainly on the nose in a lot of quarters. Albeit that the insatiable drive from Asia will maintain the industry for a number of years yet. This industry employs huge numbers in our region. Within those employment ranks we have skilled and non-skilled workers. The mines employ engineers, chemists, environmentalists and tradespeople down to truck drivers and cleaners. What happens to those people if these industries shut down? What happens to all the supporting businesses when these industries are gone?
The substantial infrastructure works that are proceeding in the region at the moment are fantastic for the future of the region. We are seeing cranes in the air at unprecedented levels in the history of Newcastle. The realisation by those in the state and national parliaments that Newcastle, the capital of the Hunter, will finally be seen as a city and thus invested in. However, in the short term those infrastructure workers are on a great wicket. Where do they go once the work is completed?
Defence is another story; the powers that be are actually investing in our defence forces and defence-like resources. However, unlike resources, defence and the industries that are working in that sector have a great future in front of them. Defence is not only global; in the future the defence industry and all of those that are working in this highly technical industry, have the universe as their future canvas to work on.
For our region to replenish the jobs that will be lost, we need to look into the future. We need, as a collective, to ensure we have the infrastructure that will reflect on our industrial history. We need to ensure that the Hunter and Central Coast regions have an international airport, we have a container terminal and that we ensure our skillsets stay and develop through the defence sector a space agency in our region. We need to ensure our regions are internationalised and our regional nous stands high on the international stage. This is where job creation will come from. These sectors will ensure the demographics of our region will be maintained and the homogenous DNA our region sustains will remain. Thus maintaining the lifestyles we enjoy in our regions.
There will be jobs, however we need to be loud and clear as to where we want our region to be. As business owners, entrepreneurs, inventors or a start-up; you need to be loud and clear as to where you want your business to go. Build your network, look to the future, look to the skillsets you will need and look to the channels that lead you on the path to where you want to be.
Some of the traditional industry sectors may go, however they will be replenished and tomorrow is another day.
Wayne H Diemar
Senior Project Director-HunterNet
On behalf of the members of HunterNet
HunterNet is a dynamic business development network focused on opening doors to the global marketplace. They champion the combined capability of their members and promote the Hunter region as an international centre of manufacturing and engineering excellence.