There are murmurings from all levels of governments about fresh support for regional jobs through manufacturing, but established companies ask the question: "will it be enough?"
Federal Labor points to its $15 billion National Reconstruction Fund as key to driving change towards a manufacturing economy, while those working in the industry say it makes sense to build in regional Australia for a wide variety of reasons - efficient turnaround times on new tooling just one of those.
Meanwhile, governments at all levels are mouthing the right words of support. Federal Labor points to its $15 billion National Reconstruction Fund as key to driving change.
Most successful Australian manufacturers have done the hard yards on their own, and say that phase of their careers was immensely helpful for the experience of growing stronger.
But a helping hand would be good, particular in terms of a transport subsidy, or a reduction in payroll tax.
Those in the ag-tech space are the industry heroes at the moment, with extra focus given to these nimble manufacturers in the National Reconstruction Fund.
Ag-tech start-up Zondii is one of these, nurtured through the University of New England's Smart Region incubator.
With investor funding, it is ramping up production of its fleece scanning equipment and software with production in Australia and on-going development and assembly in Armidale.
"We have had incredible support," says founder Danielle Morton, who first entered the ag-tech space with a smart phone authenticator to tell consumers where their food and fibre was from.
Using technology jointly developed here and in Germany and Pakistan, the hardware is now being built domestically, with PCB boards built in Sydney by a social enterprise company and equipment assembled in Armidale.
Ms Morton says rapid development of the product, using globally-positioned designers, requires manufacturers to be on-site, so iterations of the first draft can be updated - especially tooling - without delay.
Others have also highlighted the yawning gap between Australia and other OECD countries.
Australian earthmoving equipment manufacturer Digga has maintained its presence at Yatala, Qld, where quality gearboxes are manufactured from imported wrought iron.
These days Digga sells into India and Asia because the quality is unmatched, and after doing the sums, CEO Alan Wade says all-Australian production is only a fraction dearer than importing, without the administration costs involving forward projections of supply, wharf shutdowns, and cash flow concerns.
He says it makes sense to produce on-shore and the company's Yatala, Qld plant excels at producing post hole borers using factory-built planetary gears, with long term sales into China and India. However, experience with subsidised nations shows why other countries actually have manufacturing industries.
Mr Wade recalls moving his operations to the US soon after the Global Financial Crisis because he could see the writing on the wall for Australian manufacturing. He was astounded at the level of help Digga was given in the state of Iowa, where he intended to purchase an 8 acre (3.3 hectare) corner of a cornfield on which to build a factory.
During the hand-over of land his company was gifted the property free of charge thanks to friendly intervention by the local development board.
"We were willing to invest with our own money. But the result was a dream," he said.
Ironically, the location was Dyersville, home of the movie Field of Dreams in which they say "If you build it they will come".
Certainly the decision to invest in an alternative location has paid dividends - of 25 per cent year-on-year since 2012 - with machines built on the ground in Iowa and 65pc of those using Digga attachments that continue to be made in Australia.
But for those start-ups keen to stay in Australia, perhaps they need a helping hand here, rather than a lure from elsewhere in the manufacturing world.
It's hard to find manufacturers with capacity in Australia.- Nick Seymour, Farmo.
A four-year-old husband and wife start-up, called Farmo, has been growing its footprint to the point where it would like to increase its manufacturing capability.
"It's hard to find manufacturers with capacity in Australia," says business principal and product designer Nick Seymour, who grew up on a farm at Hamilton, Vic. He wants to ramp-up production of remote sensing equipment, such as his Water Rat, which sends a text to your phone should a trough run too low.
"We have good demand for our product, but to scale up we need access to designers and engineers. This is holding back our ability to scale-up," he said.
Mr Seymour will travel to the US Midwest state of Nebraska this month to drum up distribution while connecting with a growing Canadian presence.
"We have won design awards and have had support through government export programs and development grants but the next step in manufacturing needs more attention."
Armidale manufacturer of remote livestock weighing platforms, Bill Mitchell at Optiweigh, argues government support might be better spent helping Australian products land on foreign soil ready to compete on a level playing field.
About 50 units have been sold in Australia and momentum is building on export orders to places like Uruguay that tightly protect its agriculture sector through tariffs on imports.
Navigating that pathway into new overseas markets has been tricky, and while Mr Mitchell says NSW Government support has been helpful, further assistance with freight subsidies would mean Australian products could "land on an even footing".
"We can match retail prices overseas but our extra costs include packing, containerisation, insurance and ocean freight," he said.
Government support for industry needn't come through cash hand-outs, says second-generation manufacturer Andrew Kotzur, whose father founded the iconic silo brand at Walla Walla 60 years ago.
"We don't strengthen our capacity by subsidising it," he says. "If you want a strong industry don't prop it up. What the government needs to do is remove impediments to productivity so industry can stand on its own and grow and build strength. The current impediment is red tape."