Combat uniform tender opportunities for local TCF manufacturers

A tender briefing for the manufacture of standard and operational combat uniforms, and components fabrics will take place in Melbourne this Friday 17 February.

Tenders for the manufacturing business close on 31 May and, according to the Textile and Fashion Industries of Australia Limited (TFIA), there are ‘a lot of’ contracts available.

“HUGE opportunity for capable Australian manufacturers to get, or increase their government business, contracts will be for 5 and up to 9 years,” said TFIA on its website.

“Some line items have estimated annual demand of 10,000s and 100,000 units, make sure you are part of it.”

Interested subcontractors are encouraged to attend the industry briefing; they can also register to have their details distributed by the Department of Defence to main tenderers after the briefing.

The TFIA has reportedly condemned the government for ‘threatening’ the textiles, clothing and footwear (TCF) manufacturing industry through its Fair Work Amendment (TCF Industry) Bill 2011.

Instead of allowing outworkers the choice of being independent contractors, Labor reportedly wants to deem them ‘employees’ and to be subject to many of the provisions of the Fair Work Act without taking into account the nature of their work or the circumstances in which they undertake it.   

TFIA has been denied the opportunity to provide evidence at public hearings on the Bill.

Shadow Industry Minister Sophie Mirabella says that the Bill threatens the very basis of the TCF industry.

“The TCF industry is facing a range of intense competitive pressures, shedding more than 20 per cent of its workforce during the past three years. Ms Gillard’s changes will make it even harder for textile businesses to keep their doors open and to keep employing Australians,” said Mirabella.

“It is extremely disappointing that the Senate Committee conducting public hearings into the Bill has refused the TFIA the opportunity to provide evidence at those hearings.

“The Gillard Government needs to understand that this is not the time to be strangling industry out of existence with more stifling regulation.

“Australian industry is already coping with pressures of increased input costs, a high dollar and the spectre of a carbon tax. This is the worst possible time to slug businesses with additional regulatory costs and last century’s rigid workplace culture.”

[Image: Defpartment of Defence]