Media Release

Labor hypocrisy on local content as jobs sent overseas

The Gillard Labor Government’s hypocrisy on its proposed local content rules has been exposed by a new report from the Australian Business Defence Industry Unit, which has found that the proportion of contracts awarded to local defence companies has fallen from 80 per cent to just 53 per cent since 2007, resulting in a reported loss of $8 billion to the Australian economy.[1]

“The Government has lost any of the little credibility it may have had regarding its recent industry statement,” said Sophie Mirabella, Shadow Minister for Industry, today.

According to Australian Business Defence Industry Unit Manager, Graeme Dunk:

At a time when the federal government is releasing policies designed to boost Australian industry and jobs, Australia-based defence companies are being sidelined for foreign companies and most notably contracts placed with the US government.                              

“Only a matter of days after Labor announced their jobs and innovation plan which seeks to impose new requirements on Australian businesses to use local content, we hear that defence contracts are being sent overseas at the expense of local jobs,” said Mrs Mirabella.

“Whilst the Labor Government lectures industry it shows its own disregard for domestic manufacturers. This is the height of hypocrisy.

“No one believes the promises Labor makes about manufacturing jobs – their own record is one of absolute failure, with 109,000 manufacturing jobs lost under five years of Labor.

“This is yet another example of the Priority Industry Capabilities (PICS) that the Labor Government set for itself being ignored. That is why we have seen public outrage at the attempted outsourcing of manufacturing, such as the ADF camouflage fabric to China – a decision which was only reversed after the Government suffered public embarrassment and condemnation.

“Lip service to Australian manufacturers by this so-called Labor Government clearly comes all the way from the top – given it was revealed last week that Australian leather was not good enough for Ms Gillard’s own office chairs,” Mrs Mirabella concluded.