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After World War II ended in 1945, the introduction of new industries and the development of existing ones caused substantial expansion of manufacturing activity in Australia. In 1998 manufacturing contributed 14 percent of the country's yearly gross domestic product. Principal branches of the manufacturing sector by value of production are metals and metal products, food products, transportation equipment, machinery, chemicals and chemical products, textiles and clothing, wood and paper products, and printed materials.
Manufacturing facilities are concentrated in New South Wales (especially in Sydney and Newcastle) and Victoria (primarily in the Melbourne metropolitan area). New South Wales is noted for the production of iron and steel, jet aircraft, construction equipment, synthetic fibers, electronic equipment, power cables, and petroleum and petrochemical products. In Melbourne, industrial activity includes the manufacture and assembly of machinery and motor vehicles and the production of food and clothing. Geelong, located near Melbourne, is known for its wool mills and motor works. South Australia, traditionally a pastoral and agricultural state, after 1950 developed several important manufacturing centers, including Adelaide and Whyalla. Brisbane and Townsville, in Queensland, have significant numbers of factories. Tasmanian industry, assisted by inexpensive hydroelectric power, includes electrolytic zinc mills, paper mills, and a large confectionery factory. Hobart and Launceston are the primary manufacturing centers in Tasmania.