Andrew Wear writes in The Mandarin (25.1.17) that ‘much has been made of the revolving door of the federal industry minister, but contemporary industry policy is now a cross-portfolio, cross-jurisdictional negotiation. In this crucial arena, public servants are leading a new approach.’
His analysis continues: ‘Globalisation and advances in technology are driving intense economic transformation. They are forces that have contributed to massive increases in wealth, but also substantial dislocation.
‘This is visible locally in the decline of heavy manufacturing, impacting significantly on blue collar workers. In the United Kingdom and the USA, seismic political shifts are at least partly rooted in the impacts of economic transformation. In this context, industry policy is now more important than ever.
‘However, contemporary industry policy looks very different to the policy settings that dominated the late 20th century. A new consensus is emerging on the most appropriate role for government in assisting with — or driving — economic restructuring. This new industry policy is demanding a new range of sophisticated and nuanced policy skills from the public servants involved in the execution of industry policy.’