If buying Australian Made makes you feel good, then you should buy Australian Made. As the saying goes, what doesn’t kill you only makes you more cautious the next time you buy Australian Made.

Made in Australia… for terms and conditions click here, no here… over here

Australian Made is good, it’s right. The logo is a kangaroo inside a triangle. What could be more Australian than a triangle? A Victa lawnmower yes, but put a roo inside a Victa lawnmower and you’ve got blood on your hands and on the Victa.
We’re brought up to believe Australian made is good and right and we’re also brought up to believe Santa Claus is real.

I have news for you – the test results are in. It’s Australian Made up.

The Australian Made tag is a drug and it’s prescribed to people like you and me by the biggest addicts of all – people who work in retail. And I’m not talking about Sharon who does the till at Just Jeans Chadstone on a Tuesday.

No, it’s the big boys - people like Harvey Norman, Dick Smith and Frank Walker from National Tiles. They sit at their Tasmanian Huon Pine desks huffing and they puffing and according to them, if you’re not smoking Australian Made right now, you ain’t smokin’ the right stuff.

Australian made is being shoved down our throats like pork dumplings at a sumo wrestling training camp. And because buying Australian Made makes us feel a little naughty, a little horny, we’re sitting there and taking it. You can bank on it - we’ve got our retail between our legs in a position called Australian Made Orgy.

We like our purebreds. Unlike pork dumplings, Australian Made doesn’t come cheap. I’m forking out 100, 200, $300 for an authentic Akubra hat when a $25 ‘Chinese leather’ substitute repels just as many melanomas.

The Australian Made tag is like Chanel, Zara or The Heart Foundation tick – it’s designed to make us dingbats buy stuff. Companies pay to use the Australian Made logo. You pay, I pay, we all pay. There’s no such thing as a free kangaroo in a triangle, fools.
So I pose the question – besides causing blood to rush to your head, what has buying Australian Made and Lara Bingle done for you recently?

After all, what is Australian Made? Often the parts are made overseas and then someone puts them together in Australia, creating an ‘Australian Made product’. It’s like international students who are assembled here to form Australian universities. It’s mutton dressed up as Sam Kekovich.

But here’s the catch, here’s the stuff you don’t hear in the media – we don’t have to feel guilty for supposedly ‘killing local industry’ and buying Chinese Leather Lucky Good Time Akubras, because despite what Harvey, Dick and Frank want us to think, we already spend most of our money on Australian Made.

We do! Anyone who is renting or who has bought a house in Australia has bought land in Australia. Most Australian houses and all Australian land is Australian Made. And most of us spend a small fortune on these Australian Made things.

Harvey, Dick and Frank - don’t lecture us about not buying Australian Made. Because we do.

I don’t want to pay top dollar for a vacuum cleaner from Dick Smith because it’s Australian Made. If houses were cheaper, then maybe I’d think about it, but until then, suck it up your vacuum cleaner Dick.

I’m already buying Australian Made houses, roads and schools. It’s called the middle class, it’s called budgeting and it’s called paying taxes. Did you get the memo? 33 cents from every dollar we earn is paid to the Government, which is Australian Made - so don’t give me your pork dumplings routine for not buying a doona, a quit and a fluffy pillow from Bev Marks Beds Australia.

No one should feel guilty for buying Chinese Leather Lucky Good Time Akubras. You should feel liberated, unlike Tibet. Support local industry, create jobs - you don’t need to worry about buying Australian Made to do it. Just pay your taxes. I’m Dean Watson and I’m not from the Australian taxation board.

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40 comments

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    • KimL says:

      05:13am | 21/02/13

      I am all for buying Australian made, I try to support Australian workers but you just can’t buy everything made in Aus, we don’t seem to make as much anymore. People today are trying to save money, we are not as extravagant as we were with our hard earned $, and Australian made products are expensive

    • A Concerned Citizen says:

      11:34am | 21/02/13

      My attitude- if something is legitimately Australian made/owned then certainly consumers deserve to know if this factors into their purchasing habits.

      I myself am someone who will happily buy foreign-made products if they are better value, and shops online as many Australian alternative and retailers are terrible rip-offs.

    • Stephen Gately says:

      02:50pm | 21/02/13

      There are many more Aussie made products that the iconic ones like Akubra, try Cutana hats for example, buying directly from Jack who makes them not only makes them very competitively priced but the quality is second to none, I know I have been waering his hats for years. Many Aussie manufacturers now sell direct to the shopper, delivering products at an affordable price and you are able to talk directly to the people who make it, Master Cast in Tassie for example, high quality and affordable, they even export heaps to Asia. http://www.BuyAustralianMade.com.au features these and many other Aussie manufacturers who sell direct to the shopper, everyone is a winner, maybe apart from the large retailers.

    • Mahhrat says:

      06:08am | 21/02/13

      I’m sure, underneath the various strawmen, cliches and class warfare this article engages in, there’s a really good point to be made about disposable income percentages being recycled in the economy, compared to the “fixed” Australian living costs which are naturally recycled through the economy through tax and supporting local infrastructure and real estate - but it’ll take a smarter man than me to find it.

    • acotrel says:

      06:08am | 21/02/13

      ‘Support local industry, create jobs - you don’t need to worry about buying Australian Made to do it. Just pay your taxes. I’m Dean Watson and I’m not from the Australian taxation board.’

      So you are saying that all Australian businesses should be government subsidised ?  There is only one good re ason for buying Australian made and paying more for the privilege - quality.  And a lot of our businesses don’t provide the quality in product or services to justify paying more to cover costs , overheads and margins.  We don’t have the e thos of ‘do it r ight first time’, it is often ‘she’ll be right , mate - if it ain’t broke don’t fix it’.  We need to lift our game, tariff protection ended a long time ago. Now it is all about attention to detail and products and services which are fit for purpose.

    • marley says:

      07:26am | 21/02/13

      @acotrel - so, tell me again why we should subsidise the car industry, since it doesn’t meet your own criteria?

    • acotrel says:

      07:45am | 21/02/13

      @marley
      Subsidising the car industry is a matter of ‘use it or lose it’.  It is the last remaining appeciable vestige of anything resembling high-tech manufacturing in Australia.  We lost our defence manufacturing - taken away by stealth, and it was not a morally sustainable industry anyway - so what is left which exercises the little brains of engineers and scientists ? Your heros Abbott and Mirabella have got their heads securely up their bums - subsidising our car industry is a no-brainer.  We have nothing else left between us and a technology/intellectual desert.

    • marley says:

      08:05am | 21/02/13

      @acotrel - so you don’t see things like cochlear implants as “hi-tech?”

      The auto industry either survives on its own or it doesn’t.  We shouldn’t be throwing tax dollars at what is effectively a dying industry;  we should be investing in new, higher-tech ones.  So I do agree that subsidising the industry is a no-brainer, all right, just not in the sense that you intend it.

      And just because you can’t imagine a manufacturing industry that has moved out of the 1950s doesn’t mean that heavy industry is the only form of technology around.

    • Sue says:

      09:46am | 21/02/13

      What a sad indictment of the thinking is this country - obviously you have never had to work to create wealth with your own hands or ideas or had to risk your capital as a business owner. The problem is that Australian made could be foreign owned so the decisions are made off shore as are the profits, leaving our jobs, skills and reinvestment at risk. Also as we are not good gatekeepers of our rules, products can say they are Australian made when they are not. With our labelling laws they can also say Australian made or rather made in Australia which is the legal (non marketing) label if only 51% of the wholesale cost of good what here - the components may not have come from here. Our tax laws favour foreign companies operating here. If you look at the rules our owned businesses play by they are not the same of foreign companies or imports. Australian businesses do not get priority when it comes to Government procurement, in fact some politicians say Australians will not invest in their own coutnry and forget that it is the business owners here and our farmers who are risking their capital and working without handouts while they pay some the highest tax rates in the world. Who will pay off our national debt if we do not own the things we make and grow here - look in the mirror dear Aussie tax payers because it will not the countries buying our assets and when the tax breaks run out going off shore to sell back to us while they strip the factories here so we cannot go into competition with them.
      Might be useful to look at our history and see how the people who came to this country have worked to build a nation, so that we can enjoy the choices we have - and as they say if you do not like it - leave.

    • daniel says:

      10:19am | 21/02/13

      Whenever I’ve shopped at “local” stores, the premium they ask and the quality and flexibility delivered is more than worth it. For example, if I wanted a plain Jarrah bed frame with thick legs and no head or foot board, I could get that from a “local” store without a problem.

      However, whenever I’ve been to stores [or franchises] that mix Australian Made goods with imports, the prices asked are clearly intended to cover their margins because of the price discrepancies to “local” stores.

      The only other reason why I’d want to buy and pay a premium at a “local” store is if I’m in the market for a custom design.

    • acotrel says:

      12:02pm | 21/02/13

      @marley
      So we are now going into mass production of cochlear implants?  Do you believe the Chinese won’t reverse engineer them and do it better by machine ? I suggest more people use motor cars than implants. In any case they are usually subsidised by the government when sold to consumers - a direct subsidy with no opportunity for conditional productivity gain.

      It might be a good trick to inscribe the bible on the head of a pin, but how many people want to read it using a microscope? The cochlear implant is brilliant technology, however the market is limited, and it won’t be developed to the max in Australia - we don’t do that.
      I suppose we could always sell them to people suffering from cognitive dissonance - like yourself ?

    • marley says:

      01:55pm | 21/02/13

      @acotrel - your arguments about cochlear implants apply in spades to cars.  Just how big is the global market for Australian cars? The Japanese and a dozen other countries produce cars that are as good as ours, and the Chinese will be doing it soon as well.

    • Rickster says:

      03:36pm | 21/02/13

      @ Marley….you can’t drive to work in a hearing aid….....What was that again?

    • willie says:

      06:09am | 21/02/13

      Why would anyone wear a leather hat

    • marley says:

      09:01am | 21/02/13

      @willie - I was in fact under the impression that Akubras were felt, not leather.

    • Alfie says:

      06:55am | 21/02/13

      When Gerry Harvey next complains about consumers buying Chinese imports, I would like a journalist to ask him one simple question. “Mr.Harvey, what is the total value of goods that your company imports from China each year?”. he would certainly be able to find the answer (and it would be a hell of a lot less than what the tiotal amount his shops charge for those same “Chinese” goods ! )

    • gobsmack says:

      07:15am | 21/02/13

      Local produce is getting too expensive.

      The other day I went to my local boulangerie to purchase some nice gluten-free organic light rye petite baguettes and was nearly floored by the price.

    • Mouse says:

      08:20am | 21/02/13

      gobsmack, I hope AdamC reads this, he will feel vindicated!  lol :oD

    • Gordon says:

      08:33am | 21/02/13

      Free range I hope! The national disgrace that is cage-reared baguettes will exposed when secret footage of savage cruelty hits 4 Corners.

    • marley says:

      09:03am | 21/02/13

      @gobsmack - if you’re working class, you use the Big Mac as a benchmark for pricing and inflation;  if you’re middle class, you use baguettes.

    • AdamC says:

      09:47am | 21/02/13

      Mouse, I fear gobsmack’s comment is less than entirely sincere.

      Though I would bet my bottom dollar he spends more time at his local ‘boulangerie’ than I spend at my local organic bakery.

      I think the gobster likes to think he is the most down-to-earth gay Melburnian on the Punch. Sadly, that job is taken!

    • gobsmack says:

      10:02am | 21/02/13

      @Marley

      A work mate of mine used to use the price of a pot of beer as his index.

    • ramases says:

      07:26am | 21/02/13

      I used to insist that we buy Australian made until it became clear that this was a ruse to part people with their hard earned for goods that were overpriced, of dubious quality and most firms anyway are owned by overseas interests. Add to that that buying Australian made just added to the Unions pay packets and therefore by default the Labor Party and that was the end of that little experiment.
      As for wearing a leather hat, I do when i am working in the yard, its water proof, fits well and shields my face and ears from the sun, everything a hat is supposed to do, what’s the problem.
        I now shop almost exclusively on line and save thousands over a year. If I don’t shop on line I am armed with the on line price before I attack the shops and unless they can match or better the on line price then its no go.
        I find it amazing that retail shops when faced with the fact that you have done your homework suddenly find discounts of hundreds of dollars on some items showing that they still haven’t learned their lessons and continue to rip people off.

    • acotrel says:

      07:50am | 21/02/13

      @ramases
      ’ Add to that that buying Australian made just added to the Unions pay packets and therefore by default the Labor Party and that was the end of that little experiment. ‘
      I suppose you spend all your money on gambling and shares so that Packer, Rinehart and Palmer are empowered ? There are sometimes really hilarious comments on this forum, it’s no wonder you perceive Abbott as a messiah.

    • acotrel says:

      07:56am | 21/02/13

      I’ve got a Chinese lathe. I keep it well hidden from my friends. It makes good spacers for my racing motorcycle, but not much else . It was very cheap.

    • PsychoHyena says:

      08:05am | 21/02/13

      @ramases, well as it was Howard who brought in Australian Made and it’s generally the farmers that benefit from it alongside the Australian Grown TradeMark, I’m not sure where your rant is going.

    • willie says:

      08:11am | 21/02/13

      I hadn’t though of rain. But if its sunny enough to need a hat its too hot to wear a leather one.

    • Rickster says:

      03:40pm | 21/02/13

      @ Ramases…..Of corse you don’t buy Australian…...your Egyptian

    • ramases says:

      04:29pm | 21/02/13

      acotrel, no I don’t gamble at all, I don’t smoke and don’t drink but enjoy my life to the full. I suppose my little comment about the Unions and Labor , although truthful, started your rant as usual, not unexpected and was pretty sure it would get a rise out of the usual Labor trolls and you didn’t disappoint, well done and you even managed to get Abbott’s name in once, well done again, clown.
        About the lathe, are you really that paranoid or is this just and act, I have a Chinese lathe, Chinese welders of various sorts and Chinese tools, all working brilliantly and as you said all cheaper, cheaper and better than I could afford if they were all Australian Made.
      Rickster, fail, I am fourth generation Australia, Irish decent, nothing except my nickname is Egyptian, another clown.
        Great in the rain willie and not that hot on a sunny day as the sweat band does a great job as do the ventilation holes.

    • Shane From Melbourne says:

      09:45am | 21/02/13

      I already support Australian made products- the handout junkies that suck at the Government tit…...

    • egg says:

      10:32am | 21/02/13

      “... buying Australian Made makes us feel a little naughty, a little horny, we’re sitting there and taking it. You can bank on it - we’ve got our retail between our legs in a position called Australian Made Orgy.”

      You went all 50 Shades of Retail for a minute there… *goes for a ciggie break*

    • Philosopher says:

      11:57am | 21/02/13

      I was caught by my wife with ‘Shop til you Drop’ mag once, opened to the centrefold (‘how to spot a bargain’). Nearly broke our marriage up… but now we both use it to spice up our love life.

    • Gerry W says:

      10:46am | 21/02/13

      Peas that were supposed to be Australian imported from NZ who bought the peas from China.

    • Philosopher says:

      11:35am | 21/02/13

      ‘What could be more Australian than a triangle [with a kangaroo inside it]?’ The ancient Pythagoreans would drink hemlock to a man if they knew of this assertion.

    • Leigh says:

      12:15pm | 21/02/13

      What happened to ‘Australian made’; ‘Australian’? “Aussie” makes us sound like hillbillies, particularly when we use that bogan word to refer to ourselves.

      “We’re brought up to believe Australian made is good and right and we’re also brought up to believe Santa Claus is real.”

      Have we gone that far – spouting mantras a dogma like inhabitants of a really totalitarian country. We are moving towards totalitarianism via our apathy, but surely we still want to buy Australian because it is good for our country and keeps our countrymen in jobs.

      The implied connection with a belief in “Santa Claus” is insulting, even by ‘Aussie/Ocker’ standards. But of course, we are dealing with an elitist here, who mentions poor old Sharon, who only “works the till’.

      Give me a good checkout worker before a Dean Watson any day, particularly after Watson’s “horny” and “between our legs” remarks.

      And, despite Watson’s contempt for Sharon, Dick Smith, Harvey Norman and other Australian business people, I didn’t notice any of Watson’s occupations relying on ‘buying Australian’. He doesn’t have to concern himself with such prosaic things.

    • Sir Viv says:

      12:39pm | 21/02/13

      It’s weird. I actually go out of my way to buy non-Australian.

      I can’t think of anything apart from food that I would even consider buying Aussie. Even then I get condiments and stuff from OS.

      Not one thing. Crazy.

    • Philosopher says:

      01:55pm | 21/02/13

      Sir Viv, try buying from China. At some up-market and boutique stores you can find the odd item manufactured from the mysterious Orient…

    • marley says:

      01:58pm | 21/02/13

      I had a local company make me some very nice blackwood bookcases and a buffet.  High quality wood, workmanship and fittings.  I’m quite pleased with the lot, actually.  Beats the veneer crap Freedom and Harvey Norman import.

    • Rickster says:

      03:29pm | 21/02/13

      I just bought a Westinghouse fridge…........The Australian made sticker has been stuck on crooked as well as the Westinghouse badge…......whatever it keeps the beer cold. She’ll be right!

    • Tom says:

      04:00pm | 21/02/13

      What an ignorant and dangerous opinionated article. Australian OWNERSHIP is what really matters. In many cases Australian made products are of superior quality and at a comparative price. Take Nabisco crackers at Woolworths. They’re made in China and cost about 20 cents less than other brands. Usually because the supermarket discounts them as the multinational owner “encourages” the supermarkets to promote them. In doing so they sell more, can lower the price—all part of a viscous cycle. The winner is only the foreign multinational. Have a look were Callipos come from. They’re made in China. So we pay for imported frozen sugar and water. The retail cost is $3. How is this cheaper than a locally made $1 icey-pole? The foreign multinationals corner the market, promote a brand then sell it at a discounted price to destroy local competition. Once that occurs they raise the price and send all the profts directly offshore.

 

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