Responding to media reports this week that combat uniforms are made in China, Greg Combet, the Minister for Defence Personnel, Materiel and Science, has issued a statement refuting the reports.
Combet confirmed that combat uniforms worn by Australian Soldiers are manufactured in Australia.
“No Australian troops are currently deployed, or in training, wearing combat uniforms made from Chinese fabric,” Combet said.
He explained that a tender was won late last year by a local clothing manufacturer from Bendigo, Australian Defence Apparel (ADA) to provide camouflage uniforms under an interim arrangement.
“This is great news for the Bendigo economy and provides great support for local manufacturing and jobs. ADA will be sourcing the fabric used to make these uniforms from Bruck Textiles in Wangaratta for the contracted period.”
He said there was never a requirement to use Chinese fabric on combat clothing. “Under the contract ADA put forward an option to supply additional uniforms if required.”
“For these uniforms ADA said they would source the fabric from a Chinese company. This option has not been exercised by the Department of Defence and it will not be exercised.
“The combat clothing that Australian troops will be supplied with is required to meet exacting specifications.
“All fabric used in uniforms is rigorously tested before use. The Government is committed to giving Australian products a fair go, as long as local industry is competitive on schedule, cost and capability,” Combet said.