Senator Nick Xenophon has criticised the manufacture of army non-combat clothing in China.
The ABC reports that that the dress uniforms, made by Australian Defence Apparel, will be made by the winner of a competitive, $9 million tender, awarded in April last year.
“Established sub-contractor arrangements” will see the clothing made in China. The
Xenophon said the outcome was “nothing short of a disgrace”, and that he federal government did not understand the benefits of sourcing locally.
“If something is a little more expensive on the surface here in Australia but it means we’re going to get all sorts of flow on benefits in terms of jobs, in terms of economic activity and tax and other benefits then it’s a no-brainer,” he told the ABC.
“Surely something as iconic as the uniforms our serving men and women of the Defence Force wear ought to be made in Australia.
In 2014, Xenophon was a vocal critic of a defence contract not being awarded to SA-based Rossi boots, also accusing the then-government of overlooking the economic multiplier benefits of buying locally-made products.