The Coalition released its anti-dumping policy on 7 November 2011, and for over a year Labor has limped along, trying to play catch-up while manufacturing jobs burn.
“Labor has today been shamed into following the leader, the Liberal leader, with their copycat announcement on anti-dumping,” said Sophie Mirabella, Shadow Minister for Industry.
“Today’s decision by Labor to:
1. Set up a new body outside of Customs to investigate anti-dumping cases;
2. Increase funding and personnel; and
3. Introduce tougher penalties on overseas producers who don’t cooperate with Australian anti-dumping rules
is a copy of Coalition policy.
“Labor Ministers O’Connor and Emerson howled, slagged and bagged when we launched our policy. Julia Gillard has today, yet again, exposed Labor’s negativity and hypocrisy.
Mr O’Connor embarrassingly claimed that:
‘Moving responsibility for anti-dumping decisions from Customs… is just bureaucratic reshuffling and will take away the responsibility for making decisions from the staff who actually monitor what is being imported into Australia.’
He also said, in response to the Coalition’s call for more anti-dumping staff:
‘It is not practical, as the Opposition proposes, to expect employees of (an) agency to have the skills to tackle (every) situation that may present itself.’
“Instead of being honest and accepting Coalition policy, Julia Gillard’s former boss Mr Brumby, not an expert in the field, was given a taxpayer funded job to tell the Prime Minister and her Ministers what they should have known had they been doing their job properly,” Mrs Mirabella said.
“Manufacturing job losses under the Gillard/Rudd Governments have been unprecedented, with one job lost every twenty minutes since the carbon tax was announced.
“The Prime Minister can’t be serious in saying she wants a level playing field when imported goods don’t have a carbon tax imposed on them. Ms Gillard should axe the carbon tax to remove the reverse tariff on Australian manufacturers,” Mrs Mirabella concluded.