In 1995 Australian government bodies agreed to implement a National Competition Policy after a period of time when there had been an influx of foreign companies operating in Australia. The policy aimed to ensure Australian companies were not being disadvantaged by this change in business environment and that Australians had choice and were able to source products and services that suited them.
Twenty years on the Australian business environment has greatly changed and as a result the policy is under review. The review is a move that AUSBUY greatly welcomes as the current environment does not bode well for Australian owned companies.
Foreign companies have continued to invest in Australia which in theory aids in healthy competition, creating jobs for Australians and bringing more money into the local economy. Look a little closer though and you’ll see that many foreign companies are not on equal footing.
We have strict standards that must be adhered to particularly when it comes to food products and electronics. Naturally, ensuring standards compliance can add costs to the production process and consequently create a more expensive product. Fine except that many foreign companies don’t always have to adhere to the same standards, making their product cheaper. Similar costs come up when supply chain and packaging are considered and even some of the levies applied when importing goods are higher for Australian companies than when compared with local companies.
Taxation has been addressed in another article in this issue but is also a major contributing factor to anti-competitive behaviour.
The rise of the digital economy has been one of the biggest disrupters to business over the last decade. The online world has often meant that competitors don’t even need a physical presence in Australia to do business here or that a lot of operations can be easily outsourced. It is true that Australian companies can do the same but often to a far lesser extent and this can mean that jobs and money go offshore, a disturbing trend we are seeing. Online business and the digital economy is one of the major points that will be considered as part of the review.
Submissions were received by the review committee at the end of 2014 after the release of their draft report last September. We applaud a number of the draft recommendations but will wait for the full report before further feedback.
As the environment around us changes, the policies and laws that govern need to be flexible and adapt to these changes. The online world we now live in must be addressed in the way we do business and our government policies in order to create a healthy business environment that also ensures the best outcomes for all Australians.
You can read the full draft review at http://competitionpolicyreview.gov.au/draft-report/
If we are to engage with the Asian Century then we need to take account of how we engage on an equal basis. The level playing field which we talk about only displays our naivety as these countries have thousands of years negotiating on the behalf of their leaders. The “for sale” sign we have on the assets we have sold or are currently selling to these countries include our wealth creating strategic assets: our land, businesses and our mines. This is in a region where we are one of the few democracies.
What benefit does Australia derive if they own the products and resources which once benefited Australia, and are now controlled here by the buyers offshore? What benefit do we get if foreign interests or a sovereign state pay less tax than our businesses? What benefit do we get if the standards required of our producers and manufacturers are not required of imports? What benefit do we get if our gatekeepers are under resourced and we expose our businesses to dumping and poor quality imports? What benefit do we get if we give priority to foreign interests, locking our own people out with high interest rates?
Interesting that the Indonesians are threatening to reduce foreign ownership of their resources to 20% and that is called nationalism. Yet we call our people xenophobic if we question why we are selling control of our wealth creating assets to other countries. Who really benefits from selling our assets and not giving priority to Australia? Who will pay off our national debt?
Real nation building happens when you engage our Australian wealth creators operating here and have a long term strategic plan that includes all our people not just a few.
Let’s hope the exuberance of yet another Government announcement does not leave us yet again paying dearly with our future prosperity and rising debt. We will believe the future vision for this country when priority is given to our owned.
Sign the petition asking for a moratorium on the sale of our assets until we have a national interest test. www.ausbuy.com.au/petition.html
Today Tonight did a story on the sale of Cubbie Stationon September 6th. AUSBUY are so glad the sale of one of our largest cotton farms is getting such a massive exposure in the media.
Watch this and share, http://au.news.yahoo.com/today-tonight/latest/article/-/14775362/foreign-land-rush/
Click on www.ausbuy.com.au/petition.html to sign the petition against the sale of our land! This is NOT in our national interest!
It is a little like the song “I am just a girl (boy) who can’t say no”, as the decisions made by the Treasurer and the FIRB are getting us into a “terrible fix*” They say yes to any foreign interest who wants to buy our land and businesses. Cubbie Station holds as much water as Sydney Harbour and is an important part of the Darling system. There is no guarantee they will use the land for its current purpose, or that Australia will benefit.
The Chinese and Japanese are looking long term and we naively think very short term. The Japanese already own 54% of our dairy industry and 45% of our brewing and when China buys it is their government buying. The countries buying our land do not reciprocate the privilege. They are laughing all the way to our banks while our national debt rises.
Despite the fact that the National Food Plan submissions are due at the end of September it appears that the grab for instant gratification and the sale of important strategic wealth creating assets which Australians have built and invested in are a priority for governments and continues unabated. Is the National Food Plan another sham letting people have their say when they will not be heard?
It is not in our national interest for the control of key strategic agricultural assets and distribution beyond the farm gate to be controlled by foreign interests. Our tax laws favour foreign interests with only 10% withholding tax. Foreign countries and companies are prepared to buy our assets to secure their own wealth, while we allow the control of all food commodities beyond the farm gate and now our land to be sold to foreign interests. Any wonder farmers are forced to sell their land as their on-farm incomes decline. We are not saying no to foreign investment, but it needs to be on our terms and we need to identify and keep control of wealth creating assets. Those who say otherwise are not representing Australia’s interests.
AUSBUY has a petition calling for a moratorium on the sale of our land and wealth creating assets until such times as we have a national interest test. There is no national strategic planning and hence a piece- meal approach to anyone who brings their cheque book.
Go to www.ausbuy.com.au and click on the Time to Wake Banner to sign the petition.
*Oklahoma by Roger and Hammerstein
Madura Tea Estates, an AUSBUY corporate member, was recently honoured to be the recipient of the best Tea Bag Award, as judged by Canstar Blue. Executives of the ratings company were present to hand over the prestigious Blue Taste Award, the result of a survey of 2,500 Australian consumers undertaken by researchers Colmar Brunton.
“This is a great result in a competitive market, and a great validation of the Madura brand. Aussies looking for the perfect cup of tea should look for Madura in the supermarket aisles, our go-to brand for tea bag taste”, said Rebecca Logan, manager of Canstar Blue. Ms Logan said that 85 per cent of consumers surveyed told Canstar Blue they sought value and were prepared to pay more for an item “if it tastes good”.
“This award is extremely important to us”, said Gary Davey, partner of Madura Tea Estates. “We are the only Australian owned tea producer left on national supermarket shelves, and to collect such an award against our overseas competitors, particularly based on taste – well, it doesn’t get any better than that!”
AUSBUY is the only organisation that represents and supports Australian Owned companies such as Madura Tea Estates and wish to Congratulate them on this achievement.
For further information and for an interview, contact Madura Tea Estates partner – Gary Davey on 02 6670 6000.
For an interview with Lynne Wilkinson, CEO of AUSBUY please contact [email protected] or (02) 9437 5455.
It does not take much to steal our identity in Australia. In recent years foreign owned companies have made an art of being more Aussie than we are using our flag, stealing our history (since 1893 etc) to infer they are still Australian. They have even quoted Dick Smith, a proud AUSBUY member and iconic Australian business man. It is not rocket science to know that supporting Australian products and farmers is good, but is it a bit rich when issues such as securing our future, or attending to the national interest when consumers buy are quoted by organisations that represent foreign owned companies operating here.
As a little Aussie battler representing Australian owned businesses exclusively since 1991 AUSBUY is independent of government hand outs and focuses on taking the initiative on issues which have long term implications for our members. These are the Australian owned businesses who are competing with imports and foreign owned companies, who are told they must be competitive and productive, while they pay more tax than foreign companies, pay the highest interest rates in the developed world and are not given priority in government spending. We are not saying no to foreign investment, but please do not pretend you are here for our good only.
Any wonder AUSBUY decided to go to the people to make their decisions when they buy. We respect our people enough to know that they will know the difference. AUSBUY urges us to consider what $50B means to us. If every Australian shopper spent $50 a week on Australian owned goods instead of imports or foreign owned goods and services is would have a multiplier effect within our economy. This is more than the government earns from 3.3 million workers on a basic wage. Remember, “Only Australian ownership means the decisions profits jobs skills and reinvestment stay here”. This is our investment in our future of our own jobs and our children.
The Australian Companies Institute Limited trading as AUSBUY A not for profit organisation 1300 882 361 – interview can be arranged.
check out the Time to Wake Up Australia campaign
We want to get concerned Australians on the move. C’mon Aussies, let’s have some fun! Join our Treasure Hunt and find the V35 in stores near you. AUSBUY Guide (July –October 2012) in your local supermarket now.
Concerned Australians, who want to support Australian Owned Companies, can use the Guide every time they shop. Support our own, support Australian Owned and Made.
Go to the WIN Banner at www.ausbuy.com.au and follow the instructions. The AUSBUY Guide has been published for over twenty years. It is the most comprehensive list of Australian owned and foreign owned goods designed so people know that their choices can make a difference and making it easier for you to make buying decisions that help each other to help ourselves.
Lots of Great Prizes to be won!!
While you are on the site click on the “Time to Wake Up” Banner and have your say.
Remember every dollar you spend on Australian owned and made goods has a multiplier effect within our economy