Published: 11 April 2017

 

The Advocate - 11 Apr 2017

The rise of the robots will bring many opportunities for the North-West, Murchison MLC Ruth Forrest believes.

Improvements in technology can benefit traditional North-West industries and the region has potential to be a leader in robotics, Murchison MLC Ruth Forrest says.

It is widely believed improvements in technology and robotics will sweep away many jobs around the world, but independent Ms Forrest believes the region could become a leader in robotics.

Ms Forrest also believes technology will have many benefits for traditional industries in the region, such as agriculture, forestry and mining.

 

“These are some of our traditional industries that are vital and important to this region and the economy of the state,” Ms Forrest said as she shared some of her thoughts on jobs and the economy in the lead-up to the May 6 Murchison election.

“Technology will provide new opportunities and ways of undertaking these activities, with many benefits for the region and job growth.

“Use of technology will advance these areas with further enhancement and improvement in all aspects; economic, social and environmental.

“I strongly support such an approach.”

She also noted opportunities for advanced manufacturing.

“The North-West Coast has a proud record of advanced manufacturing, with many great businesses providing both niche and bigger volume products into domestic and international markets,” she said.

She said emerging growth in robotics was a natural fit with the region’s skill base.

“Robotics can be designed and manufactured away from major cities and, with such rapid growth in this area, support should be provided to encourage business innovation and investment to facilitate expansion in North-West Tasmania,” she said.

“The dairy industry, for example, is using robotics, with improvements in production, animal welfare and employment opportunities.

“Robotics also have applications in almost all areas of our lives, from delivery of health services to food production, agriculture, mining and forestry.

“With the skills we currently have, and skills that could be enhanced through our education system, the North-West Coast has the capacity to be leaders in this area.”

She said the key would be improving educational outcomes, with support and growth for tertiary education in the region.

“I still hear from employers that many young people lack the literacy and numeracy skills required to take up jobs in the advanced manufacturing sector, as well as other apprenticeship opportunities,” she said.

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