May 24, 2016
Australian manufacturers miss out on making Labor merchandise as the Party goes to Bangladesh
LABOR has been producing official merchandise made in Bangladesh — despite Bill Shorten’s pledge to ensure Australia is a “manufacturing powerhouse”.
The Opposition Leader spoke at a town hall in Armadale in WA on Monday night, where “vote local, vote Labor” T-shirts branded with the local candidate’s name were on display — along with corflutes declaring the party was “standing up for local jobs”.
But labels on the shirts — which bore Quoz branding — revealed they were “made in Bangladesh”.
The move is at odds with Mr Shorten’s public commentary about the importance of Australian manufacturing jobs.
Mr Shorten last week said in Geelong: “My Labor team is committed to keeping Australia as a manufacturing powerhouse.”
“Labor is driven by the desire to ensure that we are a country that still makes things here,” he said.
“I think too many Australians believe that perhaps we don’t make things here anymore and the truth couldn’t be further from that myth.”
Labor’s campaign headquarters would only say: “All T-shirts purchased by the National Office of the ALP are exclusively Australian made.”
It did not respond when asked if the Bangladesh-made shirts were appropriate, given Mr Shorten’s pledge to ensure Australia remains a “manufacturing powerhouse”.
It comes as the Opposition Leader admits he does not believe it was appropriate for patients at medical centres to have to reschedule their appointments because of his campaign events in recent days.
Mr Shorten held an almost hour-long media event in the waiting room of a Perth medical centre — though staff at that particular centre told News Corp Australia patient appointments were not shifted as a result of the visit.
However, the Opposition has recently used medical centres to stage media events, with at least two having to reschedule some patient appointments to accommodate the Opposition Leader as he spruiks the Medicare policy he says will ensure fewer Australians will delay going to the GP.
Asked whether he believed it was appropriate to displace patients and take up space in medical centres while arguing for easier access for patients to GPs, Mr Shorten replied: “No, of course not … that’s why I’m going to answer that question as quickly as we did.”