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Thursday, 3 February 1994
Page: 323

Mr REID —Every Australian should be concerned about the December balance of trade figures. They were quite startling. The country really needs to have a look at what is imported into this nation. Imports are far too high, and all Australians need to be looking at where they purchase product. By that, I mean that we should be getting a change in philosophy in Australia to buy Australian made products.

  The need for all Australians to purchase Australian products was never higher than it is right now, and I think the government needs to be setting the lead in this particular aspect. If a lead can be given by the government and government departments in the purchasing arrangements that the government departments have in looking at Australian products, of which we have many fine examples, it would make a tremendous difference to this nation.

  In Bendigo, the electorate that I represent, we even have a policy of buying locally. I am proud to say that I never look further than a local manufacturer for the suits that I buy. Some of the materials and cloths that they have are produced in Australia as well. I do not know about ties, but I would like to find a local manufacturer of ties and I would buy them, too.

Mr Tuckey —I think I can help you there. I can get you some wool ties.

Mr REID —Yes, there are some woollen ties, as the honourable member for O'Connor says; and I have got some good woollen ties. I compliment the honourable member for O'Connor on arranging wool week. But can I say: buy locally and buy Australian.