Governments should “buy Australian first” in Covid-19 economic recovery: Australian Made

The Australian Made Campaign has urged all levels of government to adopt a “buy Australian first” approach and to take a “long-term view” in addressing the country’s manufacturing self-sufficiency and economic recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.

Australian Made said the commitment to increase local production of critical goods was “a good start” but needed to go further.

“Australia’s economic landscape will be forever changed, however there is an opportunity for federal, state and local governments, as well as Australia’s business community, to take the lead and put policies in place that prioritise genuine Aussie products for major projects, supply contracts and everyday consumables,” said Ben Lazzaro, the organisation’s chief executive. 

“Reinvesting in local industry and local jobs through sustainable purchasing policies will go a long way towards helping Australia bounce back.”

There was an over-reliance on imports exposed by the crisis, showing a need to rebalance levels of imports and exports, and governments needed to “take a long-term view and increase our level of manufacturing self-sufficiency,” he added.

The comments coincide with an editorial in Wednesday’s The Age by former industry minister Kim Carr. The opposition senator suggests a rethink of “neoliberal assumptions” to strengthen Australia’s manufacturing sector, with an “active and enabling role in shaping the post-pandemic economy…”

The discussion around how much governments should do to boost manufacturing is likely to continue here and abroad during and after the pandemic.

Manufacturers with opinions on the issue are invited to contribute them to @AuManufacturing’s new deal manufacturing policy series. More information is available here.

Picture: Bell Bay Aluminium

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