Australia is currently exporting jobs offshore to the detriment of future Shoalhaven industries.
That was the controversial topic debated at Thursday morning’s Shoalhaven Professional Business Association’s breakfast meeting.
The Great Debate is one of many workshop-style activities which participants in the association’s mentoring program take part in.
Six brave souls, three on the affirmative team and three on the negative, took to the stage at Bomaderry Bowling Club to engage in the robust exchange.
The affirmative team consisted of Ryan Lord from Go Steel Building Products, Katherine Teague from RMB Lawyers and Amber Schutz from Architects Edmiston Jones under the tutelage of coach Emilia Markovic from Architects Edmiston Jones and researcher Grant Gleeson from the Office of Local Government.
The negative team was comprised of Sophie Alexander from RMB Lawyers, Jaimie Mclean from Shoalhaven City Council and Matthew Harwood from Harwood Acoustics with coach Daniel Arthur from Commonwealth Bank and research from Tania Morandini, also from council.
After compelling arguments from both sides, the win was handed to the negative team (who had a surprisingly positive outlook) by adjudicators Sue Schofield, Robbie Collins, David Bisiker and Steven Bayer.
The teams’ speakers were judged on matter (content), method (structure) and manner (body language and vocal style).
In a nutshell the affirmative team argued loss of key manufacturing jobs from the local area would severely impact on other industries like tourism and service roles, which were highly susceptible to the health of the economy. They drew from local examples including the closure and moves of Gates Rubber Factory, Pentair and the Shoalhaven Paper Mill and the success of businesses like NowChem.
The negative team conceded local jobs were indeed lost to offshore companies, however future Shoalhaven enterprises were likely to be very different from these “dying” industries. In fact, the team asserted it was likely in 20 years 80 per cent of jobs could be redundant and today’s youth would work in burgeoning industries and those not yet in existence – such as robotics, new scientific endeavours and online trade.
For more information about the spba visit shoalhavenprofessionals.com.au