Unused Australian-made gift ‘an insult’ to country’s manufacturers: Senators

The donation of a 750-piece Australian-made crockery set to Parliament by two Senators remains in storage.

The donation of a 750-piece Australian-made crockery
set to Parliament by two Senators remains in storage.

The Australian reports that the dining sets – donated by
Senators Nick Xenophon and John Madigan and costing nearly $11,000 – remain in the
Parliament House basement. The donated crockery arrived over 10 weeks ago, and
was paid for out of the Senators’ own pockets to make a statement about
supporting Australian manufacturers.

Parliament has been using dining ware sourced from theUnited Arab Emirates.

“It is an insult to Australian
manufacturers,” Xenophon, an independent South Australian Senator, told the Australian.

“If the parliament of Australia isn’t
going to do the right thing by Australian manufacturers who will?”

Xenophon and Madigan’s disgust at origin
of Parliament House’s cutlery and plates was made public last year.

“It’s enough of a scandal the plates at Parliament House aren’t locally made,” said Xenophon last August.

“It will be a bigger
scandal if they knock back this gift.”

However, the gift remains unused, the Department of
Parliamentary Services has confirmed. This was explained in terms of there
being 350 settings in the Members Dining Room and the donated sets only
numbering 120.

“This has limited the possibility of
usage in that room,” said the Department.

The Victorian DLP’s Madigan, a former metalworker, said, “It
is really disheartening to Australian manufacturers and workers that it’s so
difficult to get their wares into the federal parliament.”

 

Image: Herald Sun