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Monday, 26 October 2020
Page: 163


Mr YOUNG (Longman) (17:33): I move:

That this House:

(1) acknowledges the renewed interest, both in Australia and overseas markets, in Australian made products in the wake of the global pandemic;

(2) recognises that:

(a) Australian made products have a reputation for quality and value;

(b) the changing global marketplace creates new opportunities for Australian manufacturers;

(c) the Government has committed $5 million over the next four years to promote 'Australian Made' and expand its reach overseas; and

(d) buying Australian Made supports local manufacturing businesses and local jobs; and

(3) encourages all Australians to buy Australian Made where possible to support our local businesses as part of the national economic recovery.

As we chart our economic recovery it's more important than ever to back our local producers and manufacturers and support Australian jobs. Australian made products are synonymous with high quality, safe and ethical goods that support local jobs. I've seen firsthand when visiting manufacturers in my electorate of Longman, like Factory Direct 4x4 Exhausts and Roy Gripsky and Sons, both in Narangba, how important businesses like these are to the local economy. They create jobs locally as well as further afield through various supply chains. In fact manufacturing employs almost 5,000 people in my electorate. To put that in context, the number of people employed in manufacturing in Longman makes up 7.4 per cent of all people employed in local industry jobs. This puts Longman among the top tier of electorates in Queensland that are providing manufacturing employment opportunities.

It's just not manufacturers. Longman is also home to some wonderful producers and innovators like Little White Goat Cheese in Wamuran. Little White Goat Cheese owner, Karen Lindsay, started out a few years ago with two goats on her farm. She now has about 100 goats and produces anything from soap to ice cream and custard. She has created the world's first freeze-dried goat feta cheese that can keep in a pantry for up to one year without spoiling. This innovative product is now being sold to a number of high-end restaurants as well as IGA supermarkets. The COVID-19 pandemic has also inspired Karen to invent a product called 'love handles', which prevent shoppers from coming into direct contact with the handles on shopping baskets and trolleys.

There is no doubt that the COVID-19 pandemic has presented us with challenges. But it has also presented enormous opportunities for Australian manufacturers and producers. There is no finer example of this than Karen, who has rightly been recognised as a great local businesswoman and innovator. Despite these successes, Australia is still reliant on other countries for many products that could be produced locally. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the extent of this reliance on overseas products. For example, Australia has just one factory producing PPE face masks—prior to the COVID-19 pandemic—supplying just five per cent of the Australian market share. Nine out of 10 Australians have said they believe Australia should produce more products locally. In fact, there has been a groundswell of interest in Australian made products since the start of the pandemic. Since the virus hit, 52 per cent of Australians have shown a high preference for Australian made products. Almost half of all Australians are more likely to buy more Australian made products. A recent KPMG study found that if households spent an extra $50 a week buying Australian made goods, it would deliver a $30 billion boost to the nation's COVID-19 recovery and create tens of thousands more jobs. One of my main aspirations in government is to help create more jobs and reduce the unemployment rate.

This government understands the importance of local manufacturing and has a plan to help local business grow, become more resilient and boost global competitiveness. The government has committed $5 million over the next four years to promote Australian made products overseas. The $1.5 billion Modern Manufacturing Strategy will also help harness Australian manufacturing capabilities and drive our economic recovery and future resilience. Manufacturing is critical to a modern Australian economy and a vital part of our response during times of crisis. It is key to almost every supply chain and adds value across all sectors. The strategy will be led by industry, for industry. The government will act as a strategic investor and, together, we will grow manufacturing by getting the economic conditions right for manufacturers, making science and technology work for industry, building national resilience, and focusing on Australia's areas of advantage. We will work with industry to evolve the strategy. Over time, we will deliver manufacturing capability that drives positive economic outcomes and jobs for local communities. This strategy recognises that we must play to our strengths and target sectors that allow us to achieve scale and generate future growth. Research and development, innovation, design and services are all part of that. To be successful, we must compete on value, quality and products that are unique.

Manufacturing looks very different to what it did a generation ago. There is still a huge amount of success and opportunity within the sector. Investments by the Australian government to support Australian made products and manufacturers will place Australia as a world leader. Not only as we come through this global pandemic but into the future as well.

The DEPUTY SPEAKER ( Dr Gillespie ): Do we have a seconder for the motion?

Ms STANLEY: I second it and reserve my right to speak.