Mr HAMILTON (Groom) (18:43): I rise to support Australian industry, particularly locally-made and locallyowned goods. Of course, I’m not a protectionist and I believe Australian goods must compete internationally.
Indeed, it is the weight of competition that, when lifted repeatedly, grows strength in our products and expands our capacity as a producing nation. However, as a nation we should encourage consumers and businesses alike to look first at products made locally and, if they meet their requirements, then consider strongly the Australianmade tag as an important criteria for their purchase decision. This is an easy decision to make as Australianmade goods invariably position favourably on issues of quality and reliability. There has never been a better time in our history to buy local, and the Australian Made and Australian Grown logos have endured the test of 30 years. The message is timeless and, in these challenging times, it becomes even more important as our economy recovers from the COVID pandemic and the Australian people have rediscovered a desire to be more self-reliant.
As a nation, we’ve come together on this issue as we seek to support our fellow Australians. In my electorate of Groom, which is covered by the Toowoomba region, we have some tremendous businesses producing world-class products. These range from cottage industries through to a business selling construction equipment to mining companies around the whole world.
On the micro side, the Buy from the Bush Queensland initiative started in mid-2018 as a Facebook page for women doing it tough on the land and has since blossomed into an online community of bush businesses, creatives and a broad array of family-run side-hustles across the rural regions of Queensland. Kerri Brennan, a Darling Downs cattle producer based an hour south of Toowoomba, saw the need to support the family farm. Little did she know how much she would be supporting so many others just like her. And I join the long queue of those who wish to express their thanks.
During the toughest years of the drought this site began, and it now links over 1,000 small businesses with 20,000 Facebook followers. That is 1,000 locally-owned businesses, ranging from the Bonny Little Babes from Pittsworth, producing fabrics and children’s clothing, through to Chain of Hearts of Highfields, who produce creative, custom-made invitations, wedding stationery, framed artwork and prints. These Australian made products can be accessed through their innovative and thoughtful social media platform, and Buy from the Bush Queensland are looking for support. If you are looking to support rural businesses, as we all have been during this tough time, please visit their website. I encourage you to do so.
We, as a government, are committed to supporting business growth, job creation and sovereign manufacturing, through the Morrison government’s $1.3 billion Modern Manufacturing Strategy. This initiative is all about backing our manufacturers to improve their competitiveness and scale them up to compete on the world stage while growing jobs for Australians here at home. This is great news for the many manufacturers in the Toowoomba region. The Toowoomba region has a proud manufacturing and technology-hub background, and this initiative has the power to advance even further our local manufacturing sector.
With the help of the Australian government, through an Accelerating Commercialisation grant, a locally owned Toowoomba region business is now, for the first time, tendering for the manufacture of drilling equipment for
Santos. Accelerating Commercialisation provides small and medium businesses, entrepreneurs and researchers with access to expert advice and the funding to help them to get a novel product, process or service to market. In this case, the grant allowed Obadare to move their drilling equipment designs from concept to production-ready. In this tender, they will be competing only with overseas companies because they are now the only Australian based company that holds an American Petroleum Institute 4F licence. Obadare are taking the Australian made and Australian owned message to the world, and I certainly wish them well.
Sovereign manufacturing is a key element of the Morrison government’s road map to economic recovery, and, whilst it is clear from the evidence around us that the recovery is underway and the comeback is on, there is still much work to do. I strongly endorse the entrance of a locally owned Australian business into the advancedmanufacturing market of drilling equipment. I’m also heartened that, as a government, we support this locally owned Australian company in its endeavours and commend them for their drive, vision and ambition. From the smallest Australian made products to the largest, I’m proud to be a part of a government that is supporting Australian manufacturing jobs. Australian made and Australia owned mean more jobs and investment right here where we need them.
The DEPUTY SPEAKER ( Mr Llew O’Brien ): There being no further speakers, the debate is adjourned and the resumption of the debate will be made an order of the day for the next sitting.