Western Australian marine industry education and training is carried out by TAFE, by private providers including industry based sources, and within four universities, notably Curtin University and the University of Western Australia. The unavailability of key skilled trades personnel and difficulties in delivering training in regional areas are impediments to marine industry development in Western Australia. To this end a Marine Training Centre is proposed to be established at the Marine Industry Technology Park.
In addition to growth in existing industries, there is considerable potential for development of new marine-based industries, for example pharmaceuticals and fine chemicals derived from marine organisms. Australian research, technology and skills, combined with access to very large and diverse marine areas with very high bio-diversities, place us in a strong position to develop and capitalise on such new industries.
Participating in a number of Exhibitions and Conferences with the Western Australian Shipbuilders' Association (WASA) is a way of marketing and promoting the Western Australian marine industry will be undertaken.
The WASA and the Department of Commerce and Trade have jointly produced a promotional video on the high-speed light-weight industry. This is a very powerful marketing tool and promoted the industry well as world-class Western Australia industrial capability.
Management of marine-based industries by governments is largely conducted on a simple sector by sector basis at present. This will continue but within a more integrated approach to marine policy and decision-making. The Marine Industries Strategy treats all marine sectors as a single group, although it is acknowledged that the diverse marine industry associations tend to focus on their sectional interests rather than look at the marine industry as a whole.
There is a need for all organisations involved in the marine industry to work cooperatively.
6. NEW INITIATIVES BY THE DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE AND TRADE
In response to its industry strategy findings, the Department of Commerce and Trade has implemented new financial assistance and communications initiatives. A brief outline of these initiatives is given below. Full details of all Key Financial Assistance Schemes are available from the department.
MARKET RESEARCH INITIATIVES FUND
Commerce and Trade can provide a funding contribution to industry organisations or groups towards overseas market research costs. This finding will enable industry representatives, contractors or consultants to undertake overseas market research for the organisation or group.