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Wednesday, 6 May 1987
Page: 2690

Mr O'KEEFE —My question is directed to the Prime Minister and concerns the `Buy Australian' campaign. Can the Prime Minister advise the House as to the response so far to the `Australian Made' campaign? Is the Prime Minister concerned about reports that imported products are being falsely labelled as made in Australia? Will the Prime Minister outline the reasons why consumers should be looking for, and suppliers should be using, the official `Australian Made' logo?

Mr HAWKE —I thank the honourable member for Burke for his question. It is a further indication of the considerable interest which he has shown and which I have witnessed with him in his electorate. I am pleased to be able to say that since the campaign began in late August of last year more than 800 manufacturers have signed up for the right to display the official green and gold `Australian Made' logo. I am equally pleased to say that there is overwhelming evidence that Australian consumers are responding very positively to the campaign. The latest research available to us indicates that two-thirds of Australians are now buying Australian-made products `most of the time'. That represents a 50 per cent increase on the number indicated by the previous survey, conducted at the beginning of the campaign. I think the honourable member would agree that that is a very significant improvement attributable to the campaign.

I turn to the next part of the honourable gentleman's question. I am concerned about reports of instances where imported products are being falsely labelled as made in Australia. There is simply no doubt that the best way to guarantee that a product is a genuine Australian-made product is by means of the official green and gold kangaroo logo. This logo is a registered certification mark which can be used only under licence issued by the Advance Australia Foundation. Approved licensees in those circumstances have satisfied the Advance Australia Foundation that their product is made in Australia with a minimum local content of 75 per cent.

In response to the final part of the honourable gentleman's question, the great advantage of shoppers choosing products bearing the official logo is that they are helping their country by reducing our dependence on imports and-in the same way and obviously connected with it-by boosting Australian production and Australian jobs. In conclusion, I again say that this has been a highly successful campaign and I thank the honourable member for his continuing support of it.