Last October surfboard company BASE abruptly closed its factory on the Gold Coast, with the direct loss of 30 jobs. Since then, nearby D’Arcy Surfboards has announced it is shedding workers and downsizing from a state-of-the art, purpose-built factory into a backyard workshop. Is the surfboard industry yet another victim of the high Australian dollar?
Dominating conversation on the future of Australian manufacturing has been talk of exports and the high dollar. Australia cannot compete in a race to the bottom for cheap labour. Even if the dollar drops substantially, the more complicated truth is that there are deeper structural and human issues threatening the making of things in Australia.