Federal Labor: Buy Australian Plan

On 9 October 2021, Federal Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese addressed the NSW State Labor Conference and announced Labor’s new ‘Buy Australian Plan’. This 10-point plan includes a new ‘Future Made in Australia’ office within the Department of Finance, to better align government procurement towards Australian businesses.

The policy is in addition to other recent policy announcements from Federal Labor, including the Secure Australian Jobs plan to lift wages and better protect workers, and the National Reconstruction Fund to diversify Australia’s industrial bases.

The plan

Federal Government contracts have totalled around $190 billion over the last three years. Federal Labor’s Buy Australia Plan will refocus Australian Government contracts and procurement towards Australian businesses. This will see taxpayers’ money fund local jobs. In addition, the policy will seek to address any industry gaps that have been revelled by COVID-19 and associated overseas supply chain issues.

As part of the plan’s overall focus, government spending will be better used to address the impacts of climate change, and support energy infrastructure projects. In addition, there will be a focus on strengthening Defence industry and capabilities.

Key Features of the Buy Australian Plan include:

  • Future Made in Australia Office
    • The Future Made in Australia Office, located within the Department of Finance, will drive a whole-of-government approach by ensuring that Commonwealth Procurement Rules better support local industry purchases.
    • The office will also develop plans to support industry gaps, including in textiles, start-ups, and renewables components
  • Secure Australian Jobs Code
    • The Secure Australian Jobs Code will guide the Commonwealth to utilise their purchasing power to secure Australian businesses that engage in fair and ethical practices.  
  • Fair Go Procurement Framework
    • The Fair Go Procurement Framework will aim to assist small and mid-tier businesses by packaging appropriate tenders to allow for smaller companies to make more bids.
    • The framework will also ensure those who gain government contacts are also subject to appropriate taxation.   
  • National Partnership Agreements
    • These agreements will, in conjunction with the States and Territories, secure $20 billion in annual funding to better utilise local workers and local businesses.
  • First Nations Business
    • The plan will ensure better access and opportunity for Indigenous owned and operated businesses, including a focus on skills transfer to place workers in long-term skilled roles.

Further information

To read Hawker Britton’s paper on Labor’s Secure Australian Jobs Plan, click here.

To read Hawker Britton’s paper on the National Reconstruction Fund, click here.

For more information, please contact your Hawker Britton consultant Simon Banks on +61 419 638 587.

Download the Paper

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