The Federal Government has launched a $53 million Buy Australian campaign to help boost Australian manufacturing hit hard by the rising dollar and a flood of cheap imports.
The Buy Australian at Home and Abroad campaign comes in the wake of the recent decision by Bluescope Steel to shed at least 1000 jobs at plants in NSW and Victoria.
The campaign is designed to promote Australian-made materials to help prevent further job losses in the manufacturing sector.
Former Queensland Premier Peter Beattie has been appointed as Australia’s first Resources Sector Supplier Envoy to assist struggling manufacturers.
Mr Beattie will work with Australian firms as part of the Buy Australian at Home and Abroad initiative to help Australian suppliers benefit from the nation’s major resources projects.
“Helping our manufacturers better compete in the lucrative resources market is an important part of ensuring the future of manufacturing,” Mr Beattie said.
Members of the Resources Sector Supplier Advisory Forum will be appointed by the end of October.
“Consultation on forum membership and priority areas for supplier advocates – for example in key fields such as steel, LNG, coal, iron ore and mining technology and services – will occur in the coming months.”
The Minister for Innovation and Industry Senator Carr said the Government was investing more than $50 million in supporting Australian industry win opportunities from the resources boom and other large procurements.
“Our plan is to work with companies to build partnerships, to build capabilities to ensure Australian firms are internationally competitive,” Senator Carr said.
The Minister for Resources, Energy and Tourism Martin Ferguson said supporting Australian businesses and buying Australian are an important part of extending the benefits of major projects in Australia to all Australians and ensuring ongoing community support for a rapidly growing industry.
“The Government believes that Australian businesses – wherever located – should be given a fair opportunity to compete to manufacture and supply goods or services to Australian resource projects,” Mr Ferguson said.
“We want to help Australian businesses improve their competitiveness and their ability to secure lucrative contracts. By also promoting linkages with global supply chains we can help turn opportunity into commercial reality.
Senator Carr said Australia has world-class manufacturers who can add value to major global resources projects. Unfortunately, some suppliers are missing out because of established global vendor lists and the trend towards pre-assembled modules.
“Buy Australian at Home and Abroad is about showcasing the strengths of local industry, improving their competitiveness, and helping them target the right opportunities,” Senator Carr said.