Manufacturing News

Defence uniforms – a huge mistake

The Australian Made Campaign (AMCL) is in disbelief that the Government has awarded a contract to make Australian Defence Force uniforms to a company who sources the clothing out of China.

The $9 million contract was awarded to Australian Defence Apparel to produce the clothing using “established sub-contractor arrangements” overseas. The uniforms will be used in non-combat situations such as parades and other formal occasions.

The Government apparently has chosen the cheapest option in order to save taxpayers money but AMCL questions the efficacy of such a use of taxpayers’ money which seemingly ignores the positive flow on effects in terms of jobs, economic benefits and taxes paid that would come by choosing an Australian Manufacturer.

Then there is the emotive side of the argument, where overwhelmingly Australians would want to see their soldiers decked out in Australian made clothing.

AMCL Chief Executive Ian Harrison says it beggars belief that the Defence Department is dressing its soldiers in clothing made in China apparently because of a cheaper upfront price.

“To put our soldiers in uniforms made in other countries, when we have the capacity here in Australia to make uniforms, is mind blowing,” Mr Harrison said.

“There are not many things more Australian than the Defence Force and Australia is where its uniforms should be made.”

“The Government has failed to look at the longer term impact of its decision. Government procurement shouldn’t just be about looking for the cheapest price. It should be about using taxpayers’ dollars to invest in building a more competitive manufacturing industry in Australia.”

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