Manufacturing News

‘Buy local’ push gaining momentum, say unions

The Manufacturing Alliance (the AMWU and the AWU) has released polling that it says reveals Australians would like to see a stronger Government approach to local content and procurement.

The online poll of 1,044 randomly selected people across the country found:

93 per cent agreed providing secure, well-paid jobs for Australians was important.

85 per cent agreed the best way to preserve Australian jobs is by Government investment in local industry and production.

85 per cent agreed that when purchasing goods and services the Australian Government should buy Australian-made even if it costs a little more.

90 per cent thought it quite important/very important for Governments to give support and assistance to the manufacturing industry to retain production in Australia.

89 per cent agreed maintaining manufacturing industries was important for Australia’s future economic independence.

85 per cent agreed or strongly agreed that the Federal Government should take action to prevent local manufacturers from closing down and losing jobs.

However, it is clear the Federal Government is opposed to the union push for Australian goods and services to be allowed a 20 per cent price differential in purchasing contracts, saying such a move could breach international treaties.

The union campaign is for a “fair go” policy for local manufacturing from both government and the private sector in domestic and international work.

The survey also found a high level of fear about job security. Six in 10 people feared they or someone in their family would lose their job in the next year.

Two-thirds of those polled believed the Government had the ability to stop the flow of jobs and industries overseas, while more than eight in 10 thought the Government should intervene to stop local manufacturers closing down.

Only 20 per cent thought it had done enough “to support our industries and keep jobs in Australia”.

Labor was seen as better than the Coalition in supporting the manufacturing industry (by 35 to 23 per cent) but nearly a third of respondents regarded the two sides as “much the same” on the issue.

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