Associations propose merge

Monday, 02 May, 2005

The Chairman of the Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA), John Price, and the President of the Australian Electrical and Electronic Manufacturers' Association (AEEMA), Christopher Janssen have announced that the Boards of both organisations had agreed to undertake a feasibility study of a proposal to merge and create a much larger industry grouping comprising the diverse technology-based and industry sectors which underpin Australia's economy.

The feasibility study will be overseen by a Steering Committee comprising Board directors from both organisations, and is expected to be considered by both Boards around the end of June.

Janssen and Price said there was agreement within the Boards of both organisations about their common interests, and the strong desire to build a modern industry organisation capable of representing the interests of Australia's ICT, electronics, and electrical manufacturing industries effectively as technology, the business environment, and domestic and global policies and regulations change in the future.

Both stressed that the proposal was about the creation of a completely new organisation.

"Convergence of technologies is driving consolidation of firms in the industry," Price said. "Because of this, it is appropriate and timely to seriously consider consolidation of industry representation, and ways to deliver a wider range of services to technology-based SMEs across the country."

Janssen said that while one aim in examining the proposal was to reduce the fragmentation of industry representation in Australia, there were many other potential benefits.

"The industry and the Australian economy are currently very strong. Both organisations are healthy and have largely complementary teams and capabilities. We want to use this opportunity, if it is proven up, to initiate a step-change in industry representation and services, to position and support our members both domestically and internationally so that they can make a full contribution to the future wealth of Australia and all Australians."

The new organisation would potentially comprise over 800 member companies covering all facets of the electrical manufacturing, electronics, and information and communications technology sectors.

Both Janssen and Price emphasised that no changes would occur without wide consultation with, and formal agreement from, existing AIIA and AEEMA members.

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