Calls for "Australian Made" Products

Discussion in 'Living Room' started by Pumpkin, 17th Apr, 2020.

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  1. Pumpkin

    Pumpkin Well-Known Member

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    I have been seeing a lot of posts, articles or comments about buying/supporting "Australian Made" Products. Just a bit puzzled and would love to hear your thoughts.

    Products - there are many ranging from food/drinks to office supplies, clothing, furniture, vehicle and many more.
    The thing is it's not that I dont support "Australian Made" Products, they are just not available! Or lack in variety, quantity or accessibility. How did we get here and how do we get out from this? I've only been in this country for 16 years but have seen many brands change hands.

    My first point is I think this has to start from the Government level: Federal, State and Local.

    Office Supplies- I know someone who use to make stationery for over 20 years for offices including government departments and hospitals. Then slowly they decided to import so needless to say, friend has to sell the factory.

    Vehicles - Malaysia has their national brand "Proton" and all Government Departments use them (plus other brands). But our Police and all other Departments happily use brands other than Holden, and now we wonder why Holden cant sustain.

    I know we promote competition and fair-play, and the country signs up for trade tariffs and all that. (Sorry not an Economist and unable to quote the relevant rules). So we now suffer the consequence and I really cant see how we can go back easily. I can buy my occasional macadamia nuts from the markets, or little dresses here and there. But surely the Departmental purchase would have more impact than me......
     
  2. Omnidragon

    Omnidragon Well-Known Member

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    It's just brand warfare - Australian Made is almost like a brand itself. But there's only so much essentials can get from Australia... eg looking at my office I'm sitting in now I can't get a modem, printer, TV, PC, car, smartphone or a Sony Playstation or Microsoft Xbox or Nintendo. Even good old furniture like Chesterfield and Moran are struggling to compete or have shifted their manufacturing to China. Would I buy Sussan (are they still around) or Zara for the same price...... hmmmmmmmmm
     
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  3. Lizzie

    Lizzie Well-Known Member

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    Food - yes buy Australian ... clothing - well, buy quality regardless of where it's made ... furniture - good luck with that ... other products - where I can, such as I buy my soap locally from a non-chemical home soap maker
     
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  4. Scott No Mates

    Scott No Mates Well-Known Member

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    The issue is Australian wages for unskilled/semi-skilled labour & property are high compared to the Asian or Eastern Bloc competitors. However our working conditions are so much better (safety, insurance, super, hours, holidays etc).

    Trade tariffs raise the price of imports making the locally made product appear competitive when it isn't. This has the effect of supporting local jobs and artificially inflating prices sad similar product is available cheaper elsewhere if you can avoid paying tariffs.

    As tariffs were reduced imports appear cheaper, local product is more expensive - this is emphasised/balanced out by a strong AUD (at times making imports so much cheaper, at other times making local product cheaper).

    When imports became cheap, we wound down our manufacturing industry & changes focus towards education and skills which are exports.

    Now with a weak AUD & no manufacturer base, we're screwed ie tied to expensive imports for all manufactured products (machinery, white goods, electronics, cars, clothes, sporting goods etc).
     
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  5. Ben Chifley

    Ben Chifley Well-Known Member

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    Education is NOT an export - the Productivity Commission belled the cat a few years ago when it revealed that 96% of university graduates apply for residency in Australia after they graduate and that the majority don't work in their vocational field (ie low-pay low skill jobs competing against the most disadvantaged Australians for work). It's not an export if it's just a back-door to permanent residency - the universities are just visa-sellers, nothing more.

    And there's no way we can manufacture anything here any more - that decision was made under Hawke/Keating when they condemned the car industry to going off-shore (the Button Report) which was a policy subsequently retained by Howard and all his successors.

    We aren't a competitive place to do that kind of business, full-stop. Very high domestic gas prices, the highest electricity costs in the world. A labour force hampered by too many rules and regulations, compulsory superannuation making us 10% less competitive than equivalent workers overseas.

    We are set to have much lower living standards than we enjoyed in the 20th century, it's just that the reality hasn't set in yet.
     
  6. Scott No Mates

    Scott No Mates Well-Known Member

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    The money collected in fees comes from Overseas, they are full-fee paying students not on the HECS never-never plan. Export dollars under a different guise.

    They might end up as permanent residents but they have paid their dues unlike those who don't even enter the workforce or earn above the HECS tax threshold.
     
  7. Speede

    Speede Well-Known Member

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    Proud ''Bob'' with a 6 pack holding made in china australian flag....won't work for $2 an hour....the rest is history.
     
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  8. Trainee

    Trainee Well-Known Member

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    Selling visas is almost the textbook definition of an export, no?
     
  9. Scott No Mates

    Scott No Mates Well-Known Member

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    ...and you get to keep the whole family :oops:
     
  10. Blueskies

    Blueskies Well-Known Member

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    Buying Australian is one of those parochial feel good things that may actually be a net negative in the scheme of things.

    There is a very good argument for Australia to focus more on the things that it's good at, Mining, Services, finance, tourism, education, technology etc. than trying to compete in areas like manufacturing where the cost of labour/imputs etc is far higher than so many other places.

    We should focus our energies and capital on the areas where we have a real global competitive advantage.
     
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  11. Ben Chifley

    Ben Chifley Well-Known Member

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    If the 'education' is so important then why would the majority stay here after graduating and not return to their home country to make money with their new-found skills?

    The answer may shock you: Universities are selling Australian citizenship.
     
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  12. Ben Chifley

    Ben Chifley Well-Known Member

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    At what stage does the product you're selling turn to merde and you're unable to sell it any longer...?

    Labor had this brilliant idea to give away 200,000 aged parent visas at the election last year as a sweetener to our vast Chinese and Indian ethnic communities - but as with Labor there was no price tag attached (that's a surprise for future taxpayers!).

    The Productivity Commission estimated the cost of each one of those visas to Aussie taxpayers was about $360,000 - $420,000 which would have meant that giving away 200,000 would have ended up costing multi-trillions over the next twenty or thirty years completely bankrupting schemes like Medicare and Centrelink.

    These things COST MONEY. That money is NOT INFINITE. We can't do things like sell citizenship forever, those sorts of scams will either destroy the social capital that's been built up over generations and turn us into an Argentina or Brazil or simply bankrupt us. We just don't have enough money to cover the social welfare and aged care needs of whoever wants to come and live here.
     
    Last edited: 17th Apr, 2020
  13. Ben Chifley

    Ben Chifley Well-Known Member

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    LOL like what, drinking, gambling, speculating on real estate?
     
  14. Serveman

    Serveman Well-Known Member

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    I would tend to agree with the sentiment that we should have more products manufactured in Australia. I don’t believe we should be selling off essential services ( Electricity grid, water and communications and technology) to other countries as well as primary industries such as dairy farms and other food bowls. I also believe that no multinational company should be allowed to trade in Australia and then not pay their fair share of tax to the Australian people.
    It is time that these things are remedied for future generations.
     
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  15. thatbum

    thatbum Well-Known Member

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    Would you buy the products if they cost 2 or 3 times the imported stuff? O even just 50% more?

    I'm pretty sure the answer is no for most people, and that's why we have the current situation. As others have mentioned, its not necessarily a bad thing.
     
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  16. Serveman

    Serveman Well-Known Member

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    True, but we have made it that way through policies that have reduced protection in our market. There is no way that a country like Australia can compete with other countries that pay their workers nothing, so we should protect our own industries.
     
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  17. snoopy

    snoopy Well-Known Member

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    I hope 1 thing we have learnt from the Pandemic is the need to maintain a local agricultural, processing and manufacturing capability.

    I have definitely changed my mind on this - I wasn’t too fussed if we didn’t manufacture products locally as our labour costs are expensive but now I would support greater local manufacturing

    imagine if we weren’t producing any toilet paper locally - what would have happened in the last couple of months :eek:
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 18th Apr, 2020
  18. XBenX

    XBenX Well-Known Member

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    Did this get moved from the economics forum? :p :)
     
  19. Omnidragon

    Omnidragon Well-Known Member

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    To be honest we don’t do much apart from sell unrefined minerals and fresh air. The latter, many places have, and our only edge is we are an Anglo-sphere country speaking lingua franca.
     
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  20. Ben Chifley

    Ben Chifley Well-Known Member

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    There are people from all over the world who come to live here primarily because in contrast to where they're from this is unpolluted and we have a historical of stability, rule of law, independent judiciary and a kinda-democratic system. We still have a reasonable standard of education although that's been falling in relation to global rankings.

    I used to work in housing when I lived in Melbourne and you'd always find immigrants who were trying to dump their elderly parents into the public housing systems the very minute they got their Centrelink entitlements/permanent residence. There's a cost to adding (in Melbourne's case) 100,000+ residents every single year - congestion, crowded public places and the sheer expense and trouble of acquiring housing (rental or buying, take your pick) when it used to be relatively affordable 20 years ago.

    Hopefully COVID will give Australia's infrastructure and amenities a chance to have a breather from that breakneck growth.
     
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