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Wednesday, 17 June 2009
Page: 6387

Ms VAMVAKINOU (7:45 PM) —Last Thursday, 11 June, I was pleased to attend and support the Hume City Council in my electorate of Calwell when it formally launched its Australian Made Campaign. In signing on to this campaign the Hume City Council has proved its commitment to engage with and support our local community and our local economy. The Mayor Jack Ogilvie noted that signing onto the Australian Made campaign will not only boost the profile of local companies but provide ‘leadership and advocacy on the importance of buying local and Australian Made’. The Australian Made campaign is an essential part of this leadership and advocacy and I welcome the launch of this campaign in my electorate of Calwell.

The City of Hume is a place where the old saying, ‘think globally, act locally’ is really put into practice. We are not inward looking. We are not interested in shutting the world out. On the contrary, we have one of the most multicultural, multilingual populations of anywhere in Australia. Our community has a multitude of links with the world at large through heritage; family travel; and of course in this modern era, through culture and media, particularly the internet. We are discerning consumers and appreciate all the world has to offer. But we are also passionate about our own community, about developing our own skills, supporting our own innovators and looking to the future. We want to ensure that our goods, services and ideas are nurtured, encouraged, invested in and purchased.

Manufacturing is an essential part of the national economy but, more importantly, it is an essential part of the social fabric of our local communities and I have long understood just how important manufacturing is in northern metropolitan Melbourne. In the electorate of Calwell we are reminded that livelihoods depend on local manufacturing. That is why I was pleased to be at the launch last Thursday. The Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research, Kim Carr, who launched the campaign, reminded us all that the Australian Made brand, launched under the Hawke Labor government in 1986, has become an economic marketing tool. The Australian Made brand, which I am very proud to support, is recognised by 98 per cent of Australians. Those 98 per cent of Australians know that when they are buying locally manufactured products they are not only supporting local jobs and industries but getting a quality product.

In my electorate of Calwell there are 18 businesses currently signed on to the Australian Made, Australian Grown campaign. They range from Mickleham Olive Oils to Tachni Waterjet and Astra Furniture. These companies recognise the value of promoting Australian produce. In doing so, they are also supporting their community. They are supporting local jobs and supporting local families and they are also giving the next generation of Australians opportunities to innovate and to produce.

Moreover, Hume City Council takes our local economy and our local manufacturing seriously. In signing up to this campaign they have shown a real commitment to supporting and developing manufacturing in northern metropolitan Melbourne. I want to commend the council for this.

The campaign was launched at the premises of a new Australian Made licensee, Kelly and Windsor. Kelly and Windsor is a manufacturer of alpaca, cotton and polyester bedding products. Established in 2001 and based in Campbellfield, they are a great example of how Australian made products can be at the cutting edge of innovation. Kelly and Windsor have cornered the market through integrated technologies. I am pleased to have the opportunity to support his ingenious approach to manufacturing. It represents the future of Australian manufacturing.

Earlier I mentioned Tachni Waterjet. This firm, located in Campbellfield, has just been awarded a $499,000 federal grant under the Climate Ready program, to develop technology to reduce consumption of energy and water by 70 per cent. Great local companies like these demonstrate how Australian Made local manufacturing is leading the way not only in developing our local economy and keeping jobs in Australia but also in innovation, research, development and the move towards greater sustainability. While responding to climate change is very much a global challenge we can make a significant contribution by developing our own practical responses here in Australia through such research and innovation.

We need to ensure that the federal Labor government, in conjunction with city councils like Hume and local businesses, work together to see as many people as possible buying Australian made both here and around the world. At the launch last Thursday, Mayor Jack Ogilvie made the following comment:

… our council’s support for the Australian Made campaign is especially relevant in the current economic conditions. The message to buy locally and help protect local jobs takes on a great significance in times like these.

I could not agree more with Mayor Ogilvie.