Manufacturing uniforms locally ‘triple the cost’ says government

Image: defence department

The federal government has defended Chinese-made army dress uniforms, saying that the successful tenderer would pay three times more to make them here.

The issue was raised earlier this week by senator Nick Xenophon, who criticised the manufacture by Chinese sub-contractors as “a disgrace” and questioned procurement policies.

Yesterday, under questioning by senator Labor Kim Carr, defence minister Marise Payne said Australian Defence apparel’s tender was 18 per cent cheaper than prices at the time, and manufacturing in Bendigo would be three times more expensive for them.

“The service dress jacket and lowers are being manufactured in China utilising established sub-contractor arrangements,” the ABC reports her as telling the senate.

Defence has also backed ADA, saying the company “was selected as the preferred tenderer following an open competitive process”.