– Business Support
In this article we will look at supporting Australia and supporting local. So why is this important? While the answer to this should be pretty bloody obvious to most of us, it seems many of the decision makers at both government and local level have, for way too long, lost sight of some of the most basic answers. We should all revisit this topic more often and maybe it will start to filter through?
To start with, why support Australian? Basic answers that come to mind are things like balance of trade, standard of living, employment and saving the world. Let me explain more. One of the multitude of bad things that Covid has highlighted has been our large dependency on products and services from overseas. We live in a country that was great, was rich, did have a great standard of living, was even labelled the ‘lucky’ country – until we more recently have tried to shoot ourselves in the foot and give most of it away.
Governments on both major political sides have rushed to “create a level playing field” by removing import tariffs, removing our industry protections and instead they have encouraged imports of everything from food to tin openers to white goods, machinery and cars. What were they thinking? Collectively our governments have pushed our ‘lucky’ country into a situation where we didn’t even manufacture a face mask!
So often our farmers and industries have been told to “become more efficient” – to compete on a world stage, but what happens when we reach a point whereby we cannot become any more efficient? If a product from a so-called 3rd world country is cheaper, then at this point we either adopt the wage and income strategies of the lowest paid countries in the world – or we close our doors. How dumb is this policy and is there any wonder that our standard of living has dropped like a lead balloon?
Just a quick look at my own industry (Information Technology) reveals zero equipment manufacturers in Australia. It also reveals very few software manufacturers of any significant size and sadly it also reveals a growing trend to outsourcing technical support to offshore as well. In fact, if I could invent the next incredibly useful IT gadget or a fantastic software platform then I would also consider launching it from a country other than Australia because of our tax systems and lack of industry support!
I know that I have bashed Telstra on numerous occasions in many of my previous articles for sending most of their customer support offshore, however this is exactly what a greedy, profit driven un-Australian company will do – unless our government regulates them to do differently. With Covid reaping havoc with both our communities and financial systems, there is no better time to be changing these policies than now.
If you want to sell services in Australia – such as telecommunications, then these services should be supported from within Australia (no more offshore call centres). If you want to sell software and hardware products in Australia then the sales should be processed through our tax system (instead of via Ireland or any other offshore tax haven). The same rules should apply for mining, natural gas & primary production.
Let us also start taxing imports of everything from milk to fish and every other product coming into our country. This revenue can go toward government incentives to reinvent or kick start the industries and manufacturing that we should have protected and kept all along. Next week I will continue to ramble on about the merits of buying local.
Future Byte Me topics can be emailed to [email protected] and Bruce is still contactable at Kerr Solutions, 205 Musgrave Street or on 49 222 400.
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