Wednesday, 17 June 2020
Australian Made Campaign
I'm speaking tonight in support of the Australian Made Campaign. I'm here to encourage all Australians to join the Aussie Made Club. In recent weeks, my office—like those of others, I'm sure—has been inundated with enquiries about how constituents can support Australian domestic manufacturing. It might be one of the silver linings of this dark COVID cloud. The solution is simple. The most powerful industry builder is consumer spending. Whether it's at the checkout or at the click of a button, our decisions on how we spend can either build up a local business or destroy an industry. There's no shortage of innovation and drive to expand Australian made production, but private industry is at the behest of its consumers. That's why initiatives such as the Aussie Made Club are having such great success. Currently, the website is attracting 250,000 visitors a month. The 'Australian Made' logo rightly elicits a sense of pride for Australians and is globally recognised as an assurance of quality. The Morrison government recently committed $5 million to expand the reach of the 'Australian Made' logo so manufacturers can take on new markets around the world.
Another initiative the Morrison government has actioned in recent weeks is the HomeBuilder program. That program will help support 140,000 tradesmen directly and another one million indirectly in the residential construction sector. That's great news for the timber industry in the electorate of Barker. The Australian Forest Products Association forecasts that, but for our scheme, sawn timber demand could have dropped by as much as 50 per cent by the end of the year, putting as many as 45,000 jobs in the softwood timber supply chain at risk. This package will help prevent that devastating impact on timber communities and help the whole supply chain weather the storm. And, as I said, it's great news for the timber workers of Barker.
In 2018, our government introduced country-of-origin labelling to increase the transparency of imported products. One statistic that shocked me when I heard evidence when I was on the Standing Committee on Agriculture and Water Resources, which recommended the current country-of-labelling regime, was the fact that imported pork made up 75 per cent of processed pork consumed in this country. In my electorate, Barossa Fine Foods is but one example of local suppliers who source their meats locally and are supporting primary producers. Big River Pork finds its home in my electorate as well. It's one of our nation's largest pork-processing facilities. Apart from its award-winning wineries, the Barossa Valley is also home to producers of high-quality products such as Barossa Valley Cheese Company, who source their dairy products locally and provide economic benefit to the community. The electorate of Barker boasts more Australians employed in the food-processing sector than any other division in this place. Whether it's food, fibre or wine, Barker's producers and processors are leading the charge.
What we need is for Australian consumers to lean in, look for that 'Australian Made' logo, make sure the bar chart is full and do the right thing by your fellow Australians. Supporting Australian Made is a patriotic duty. Food processors in my electorate such as Thomas Foods, Big River Pork—there are any number I could mention—are doing the right thing. On wine, we have the high-value, low-volume offerings of the Barossa and the Coonawarra, but we also have the bulk offerings of the warm inland regions like the Riverland.
I've spoken a bit about food and wine and I've touched on wood fibre, but let me talk about another fibre. MiniJumbuk is a local company in Naracoorte which operates in the wool industry. Partnering with Australian retailers, it is turning domestically produced wool into high-quality bedding and other goods. But this company doesn't just do that. As part of its mantra, MiniJumbuk recently released 1,000 bedding sheets, with $50 per set donated to BlazeAid. It is just another way this company is giving back to Australians. So, if you're looking for bedding, think of MiniJumbuk.
Whether it's HomeBuilder, MiniJumbuk, the wineries in Barker or food producers more generally, think Australian Made, look to the bar graph, make sure it's full and deliver for your fellow Australians.