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'Worryingly low' number of firms with buy-local policies in place

04 September, 2013

The Australian Made Campaign is calling on businesses to revisit their procurement policies after research released recently revealed just 20 per cent of Australian companies have a firm policy of buying Australian-made goods wherever possible.

The Roy Morgan research also showed that 34 per cent of companies had neither a policy nor a preference for buying Australian-made goods.

"It is worrying to discover that the portion of companies with 'buy local' policies in place is so low," Ian Harrison, Australian Made chief executive, said.

"Perhaps even more concerning is the percentage of businesses with no apparent inclination to reinvest back into the local business community they operate in.

"At a time when it is clear that consumers, even government, are placing more importance on buying Australian-made, it is disappointing that businesses are not leading the way."

The top three reasons given by businesses for not having a clear policy or preference were price (21 per cent), lack of availability (20 per cent) and value (14 per cent).

Harrison said the misconception that Australian products are always more expensive needs to be revisited and put into a broader context than just price.

"We recognise the pressure that many Aussie businesses are under in the marketplace from cheap imports and the need therefore to keep the 'cost of doing business' down, but we urge them to consider local sourcing wherever possible," he said.

"Products made and grown in Australia to our high quality, health and safety standards offer genuine value."

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Diarmuid Hannigan | Monday, September 9, 2013, 10:02 AM
Shop Local should be one of the new governments main policy stances to stimulate our local economy. We can all get on board and help ourselves as the money will stay in Australia
Peter John | Monday, September 9, 2013, 10:18 AM
Lets put the all Government entities at the top of the Business list of non support for Australian made product - the train contract for NSW goes to China Rail, the Defence vehicle contract goes to MAN Germany, the third coal loader in Newcastle goes to offshore suppliers, all government motor cars, utes, AWD vehicles should be Australian made, wind towers sourced from overseas instead of developing local capabilities. Second on the list are the retailers and supermarket chains who are forcing us into a group of consumers buying low cost and very low quality short life products. Yes as Australians we should support Aussie made product just as Dick Smith now advocates. We have to help ourselves with leadership from the top down. Good luck on this.
TRC | Monday, September 9, 2013, 10:20 AM
Maybe the new government should offer an incentive to business to purchase Australian Made first..
Roger | Monday, September 9, 2013, 10:52 AM
The Australian Antarctic Division, a branch of the Commonwealth Government allows subcontractors to have jobs manufactured off Shore, what allows them to not buy Australian made, this buy Australian made is a joke and the new government should introduce legislation immediately to make companies buy Australian made, a comment made when I approached the Commonwealth Government was, blame free trade
Alf | Monday, September 9, 2013, 12:55 PM
You have shown one side of the request but also look at the other, most consumers these days and major companies that service us are now making their products overseas because the costs here mainly because of union demands for higher wages and perks have killed the profits of years gone by, An example is the building trade goods , once you would buy for say $50.00 an Aussie made product, today the same manufacturer is asking $250, but you can now buy out of China and other markets this same companies product for $36.00, but not here.For us to buy Australian first is great but if we can't buy for the right prices where is the incentive. Ford and Holden the tax payer supports but not us, we have to survive and I don't think it will ever change anything. If anyone out there can tell us how I would be internally grateful.
MM | Monday, September 9, 2013, 1:40 PM
As somone who has managed a few manufacturing operations, exported to China and other low wage economies,the issues are always the same, what is the market expectation (and what does the market NEED)?, what is the benchmark for price?, what are our costs?, If we cannot be competitive any more, then what can we be competitive at?. Blame shift will not work, it's like PITW.
TRC | Monday, September 9, 2013, 3:44 PM
I am a manufacturer and our cost to manufacture is considerably higher that what we can buy similar product from China. I am very frustrated at the way the governments of this country take our taxes but do not support us when all we are asking is for them to purchase from Australian made first. If the product is not available in Australia then by all means go overseas, but they must support our country first instead of the rest of the world, after all it is our tax money they are using to support other countries. And I do not agree with free trade agreements as they tend to be more beneficial to the countries we sign the FTA withrather than Australia.
MM | Monday, September 9, 2013, 5:16 PM
A manufacturer has always had to ask: Do I make or buy? Governments will come and go, as will their programs. They work on developing not shielding the economic environment. Because tomorrow will be different to today, so must we be. We have the option to innovate, by re-thinking, re-designing and re-tooling our offerings.
Diarmuid Hannigan | Monday, September 9, 2013, 6:40 PM
An item manufactured in Australia contributes at least 305 of its costs to the three tiers of inefficient government that runs Australia, These levels of government spend most of their resources on supporting the people who no longer have jobs as a result of free trade agreements and on regulating (crippling what remains of the manufacturing sector. They also have absolutely no cohesive policies to purchase from that sector. Further more these government entities are not concerned about the high interest rates charged by our banks or the unaccountable and inefficient legal system that we all have to endure. Up until now we have been fortunate due to our abundant resources and small population but eventualy this gravy train will come to an end and the stark reality of what has occurred over the past 20 years will come upon us. We desperately need an industry plan that involves finance, taxation and regulation we need to make sure we buy and eat our own food and that where we make products our government purchases them in order to create a healthy well functioning society. A society that wants to develop social equality instead of a society based upon greed.
Alf | Monday, September 9, 2013, 8:41 PM
As for free trade agreement I totally agree they apart from raw materials are a disaster for Australia as our final costings are totally over the top that far t is impossible to compete, This means according to the late Mr Rudderless we have to sell brains instead, so all you manufacturers out there, pick out you brightest and close down ASAP, then pay them to think of thing that we can sell to feed our families and staffs families or just close down and import the boat people and all of our new countrymen will pay taxes to give us all the dole anyway.
john | Sunday, September 15, 2013, 3:22 PM
listening to you Alf makes me want to slash my wrists. what a negative, depressing no idea moron you are...........
Alf | Monday, September 16, 2013, 10:14 AM
John my boy yes I am probably a moron and you might be right. I have been in business just over fifty years and have seen great companies go to the wall over things that are happening today that are nothing more than repeats of years gone by, We don`t learn and the left wing of thing are mostly to blame. I myself have had many great idea`s over the years that have been shot down by banks and investors only to have popped up overseas by someone else. Try and raise investment money in Australia is a total waste of time and overseas is the only place to go as even those people have no longer have any interest in us as a growing market, If any Australian government wants us to grow we have a couple of thing we need to do. Somehow make our public service constructive and self funding or reduce its costs, Rudderless made a deal with the banks during the GFC, lets do it again with them all to have the government guarantee funds for expansion,R&D and new developments and use the banks money to develop this country and its resources and get some of the not for profit government departments into helping advance this country, Governments won`t help finance anything they tell me, yet they spend billions propping up AGL Ford Holden but won`t help develop Australia, Yes I am a negative moron John tells me but I love my country and my family and I want them to have a future, and this continual repeat of history is killing us . Charity begins at home they tell me so lets start there.
Jadd | Thursday, October 24, 2013, 6:14 PM
most popular buisenss blogs 3. Attitude, Confidence, Belief, Etc. OK, I convinced you that for a few bucks you can find information on online buisensses and that the economy isn’ t a factor. You now found some time to do the work. So the other reason you shouldn’ t start an onlin
james thomas | Wednesday, December 4, 2013, 6:42 PM
Frankly, our productivity is low. We are not efficient. I have been to 400+ factories and I have seen it. I build world class devices and thought I am the leading edge, I get treated 2nd class to overseas by locals many times. I am an active exporter. I don't need tariifs, I don't need subsidies, i just need fair go on being given a chance. i am innovative and efficient. in the usa they buy mediocrity just as its made there. if you are a local and not better than average and cheaper you don't even get looked at. I tried to offer good value and getting work here is a problem. The local is the 2nd, 3rd or 4th choice. I even try to sell industrial parts online as sideline and frankly Australians are not into saving, when its not their money. I wonder why I bothered, I could have had a permanent holiday as a public servant. if the country goes bust it could be like Greece for the govt workers and thye would have have to look in the mirror for who to blame Austrade and Ausindustry are lame. Where we are going as country is not nice, but people here someone else should always pay, too many takers. I could not believe when a poll last week said labor was ahead or equal to the coalition. With the takers it does not gell, the debt is 80 billion higher than labor said during the elections. We have to many takers. State and federal debt is Aud 500-600 billion, private debt is more. This country really need to wake up. How does that Joni Mitchell song go . That's right, " You don't know what you got till its gone" Our days in paradise are numbered.
tommo Oz | Wednesday, December 4, 2013, 6:58 PM
This is a question for Diarmuid Hannigan the first commentator on this thread. Have you written a book called "laywers or grave robbers" I saw in another blog on this website a few months back a comment that lawyers who don't perform should be subject to normal "consumer affairs laws" like any other business. If you are I fully agree with that idea. We need a German type civil law system to lower the cost our present legal system imposes on our productivity and flow through to the cost on all gods, cost of running businesses. I have started to download your letter to parliament which is available as a PDF. I think all citizens of this country should read this.
TRC | Thursday, December 5, 2013, 10:44 AM
I agree that the costs to manufacture in Australia is high and that the labour cost is the primary cause, however we have to address this immediately before it becomes all too expensive to do anything in Australia. Unions are they maun cause for the high wages and loadings and the resulting high cost of living. This does not alleviate the Goverments responsibility to the Australian public or the manufacturing sector. The Government must drop the free trade agreement crusade and start to think about their own country. FTA's are only beneficial to the countries we sign them up with. The Government calls it a big win for Australia when in fact it is the most damaging thing they can do to Australia. FTA's should be put to the Australian People before they simply go out and instigate them. It is time we started to look afer Australia first.
Diarmuid Hannigan | Thursday, December 5, 2013, 11:39 AM
Yes I am the same person. Thank you for the comment Tommo OZ. It is a disaster that our legal industry has not been forced to reform as has all of the rest of us. This has left industry with an expensive quagmire with which to resolve disagreements. My email is