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Committee raises white flag on Aussie Flag Bill

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For more information contact Jeremy Roberts on 0433 620 850 or Nick Xenophon on 0411 626 677



 Media conference TODAY 10AM (AEST) in Parliament House forecourt with Senators Nick Xenophon and John Madigan

Independent Senator for South Australia, Nick Xenophon, and DLP Senator for Victoria John Madigan have slammed the rejection by the major parties of their Bill to require Australian flags on government buildings - including Parliament House - to be made in Australia.

A majority report just released from the Finance and Public Administration Legislation Committee rejects the Flags Amendment Bill 2014 as being in breach of Australia’s international trade obligations and the Commonwealth Procurement Rules (CPRs).

The Committee said it was also too impractical to insist on locally made material being used for Australian flags, even though Senators Xenophon and Madigan are willing to amend the Bill in the event there’s difficulty in obtaining local fabrics.

“This Bill was a great opportunity for the Australian Government to show support for local manufacturers and buy Australian. But instead the Committee has raised the white flag,” Nick said.

“What is wrong with the major parties in not wanting to give Australian manufacturing and jobs a fair go?” John said.

Both Senators Xenophon and Madigan were scathing of Australia’s “free trade fundamentalism”.

“It seems the major parties are perfectly happy for the flag flying on top of Parliament House to be made in another country - which really makes us a laughing stock in the rest of the world,” Nick said.

“Laws exists in the United States requiring their government to buy American flags locally. This report shows its beyond the wit or wisdom of the Australian government to do the same,” John said.

Both Senators called for a radical overhaul of the current CPRs.

“It seems the current CPRs are in need of CPR because they are actually killing Australian jobs,” Nick said.

“This fight will be taken up in the current Senate Procurement Inquiry I instigated with Senator Madigan,” Nick said.