Wollongong reinvents itself after manufacturing bust


Manufacturing is back in the spotlight after Toyota followed Ford and Holden in confirming that it will exit Australian production.

The manufacturing industry, as a whole, has been contracting for years but many towns and cities rely on it for their livelihood.
Wollongong, on the New South Wales South Coast, is one such city.
Traditionally, coal mining and steel drove its economy.
In the 1960s and 1970s, thousands of migrants were attracted to the Illawarra region to work at the steelworks and various related businesses.
But in recent years, BlueScope Steel has downsized, and other businesses like Bonds went offshore.
Unemployment in the Illawarra is above the national average, so the city has looked offshore for inspiration.
That inspiration has come from the city of Waterloo in Canada.
It too had a similar industrial past, but it has continuously reinvented itself, from farming, to button making, to distillery, and now, technology.
Its second university, the University of Waterloo focussed on technology and as a result, Research In Motion - now Blackberry - was born out of the institution.
Wollongong is also hoping to inspire its graduates at its university to start up their own local businesses, in the hope of having similar success.

Source SBS

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