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Australians overwhelmingly back Australian-made campaign

June 5, 2020

Australians have backed the Australian Workers’ Union campaign to champion Australian made products in huge numbers.

A staggering 88 per cent of people agreed that Australia should be making more essential products, whilst just over eight out of ten people said state and federal governments should be using more Australian products for infrastructure projects – even if they cost more.

A YouGov poll found that the COVID-19 pandemic has served as a wake-up call and that Australia should be less reliant on imports from China and other countries.

Daniel Walton, National Secretary of the Australian Workers’ Union, said: “Coronavirus should be the wake-up call our leaders need to stop being petty and just get behind Australian jobs.

“Now more than ever Australians want to be making our essential products here. We don’t want to be reliant on China. And we want Aussie infrastructure to be built from Aussie steel, aluminium, glass, and cement.

‘Let’s break the addiction to cheap Chinese imported product. It’s a stupid false economy. Australian-made building materials are not only top quality, they’re globally competitive. But it’s pretty telling that even if they weren’t cheaper, four out five people would want their infrastructure built from Aussie-made materials anyway.”

Key results from poll:

Nearly nine in 10 Australians agree that coronavirus should serve as a wakeup call for Australia and that Australia ‘should be making more essential products here and be less reliant on imports from China.” That figure rises to an incredible 98% for those aged over 65, whilst even 77% of 18-34-year-olds also support the view.

82% believe that when the government builds infrastructure it should use Australian-made products (e.g. Australian-made steel) whenever possible, even if it costs more Again, it’s even more pronounced with older Australians (94% of over 65s agree, but even 69% of 18-34s agree).

68% of Australians agree that COVID-19 has made them more likely to look for Australian products to buy. Older Australians are especially likely to agree (76% of over 65s agree, whilst 63% of 18-34s agree).

AWU economists have produced modelling showing that if 90% of the steel, aluminium, glass, cement and other heavy manufacturing items used on major government projects was Australian, it would pump $3.5 billion into the economy and create 53,000 new jobs, while helping support 500,000 existing jobs.


Mr Walton added; “Australians make high quality products and we do so efficiently. But unlike other countries, we don’t make any special efforts to back our own. If we do that, we actually strengthen our sovereign capability, that is our capacity to stand on our own two feet and produce what we need domestically.

“COVID-19 has shown that when push comes to shove, we need to be able to produce the things we need, when we need them.”

China has made it clear that it will not treat Australia favourably when it comes to trade and foreign policy – and that means we need to plan for contingencies with domestic production.”

“COVID-19 has shown supply chains are unreliable when nations are competing against each other. We keep getting the situation where some anonymous number cruncher in the public service identifies a one dollar saving from buying Chinese steel and, as a result, 53,000 Australians miss out on jobs and billions in investment.

“Our leaders should be telling the petty bean counters to take a break, we’ll be backing local jobs from here on in. The fact is that most of the costs savings are illusions anyway once you take quality and reliability into account.”

The Australian Workers’ Union needs your support to back Australian industries and jobs.

We are stronger together, so join your union today.

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