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Commonwealth purchases: Preference arrangements for Australian-made goods

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w Media ReleaseFrom the Office of John McLeayMINISTER FOR ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICES Minister Assisting the Minister for DefenceIMMEDIATE RELEASE TUESDAY, OCTOBER 2, 1979COMMONWEALTH PURCHASES: PREFERENCE ARRANGEMENTSFOR AUSTRALIAN-MADE GOODS .. ■ The Minister for Administrative Services,John McLeay, announced today in Hobart new administrative arrangements for the operation of the Government's ■purchasing policy of preference to Australian-made goods.Mr McLeay said that under the Government's policy departments and appropriate authorities must:. (a) give preference in Commonwealth procurement togoods of Australian origin or of relatively '. greater Australian content unless there are 'substantial reasons to the contrary; . .(b) draw up tender specifications so as not to. exclude Australian products suitable or reasonably adaptable to their needs. .Under the previous arrangements, where it was proposed to pass over products of relatively greater Australian content . the matter was referred, to Ministers for decision.The administrative arrangements associated with the implementation of the policy have been subject to a review and the Government has decided to rationalise and simplify those arrangements. . .


The new procedures provide that in future not all cases .

would require referral to Ministers and that:

(a) for small purchases under $5,000 a simple

Australian-made preference will be applied at ,

point of purchase against products identifiable

as imports;

(b) for purchases from $5,000 to $50,000 a general

Australian-made preference will be applied by

departments and authorities resulting in a

margin of preference related to the level of

Australian content of suitable supplies offered

in tenders. Where special factors are involved

the case could be referred to Ministers; and that

(c) cases involving purchases of $50,000 or more

would continue to be subject to Ministerial

examination on a case by case basis. .

Mr McLeay added that the Government is continuing to ensure

that preference and the level of Australian content offered

by suppliers should remain a competitive element in Commonwealth

tenders. This is to encourage Australian production and the

use of Australian materials and to avoid circumstances

where suppliers are provided with the opportunity of

increasing prices because of the preference arrangements.

Mr McLeay indicated that the introduction of the new method

of assessing Australian content, announced by him on

27 June 1979 had been part of the Government’s preference

policy review and had been adopted following consultations

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with major industry associations, Government contractors

and departments. The new content basis provides that in

future Australian content will be determined by deducting

the value of imports included in the tender from the duty

paid tender price. Imports would include the duty paid

value of imported goods and the value of any services, for

example software in computer tenders, of overseas origin

or charges of overseas origin included in a tender.

Mr McLeay said that the new guidelines together with the

new method of calculating Australian content should

provide a framework which would allow for more efficient

operation of the preference scheme.

Operation of the preference arrangements will continue

to be administered by the Department of Administrative

Services (Purchasing Division).

If further information is required today please ring on

Hobart 349 463 (002).