NSW – the assist China state.

Premier Mao Rees told NSW parliament last week:

There is no more important issue than investing in jobs for the future. We are experiencing the worst economic downturn since the 1930s. In the current climate my Government is doing everything it can to generate economic activity and jobs.

But reports today detail how NSW government contracts are going offshore quicker than 1-2-3 (or even ANZ)!

Disgusting.

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14 Responses

  1. I must admit that this did upset me when I read about it. There was also another story about the defense department doing a similar thing the other day.

    The problem with this is that it flies in the face of what Rudd has been saying. Not so much the saving jobs etc, but the rampant capitalism statements.

    I mean, this is simply a cost issue (from a brief glance). I have nothing against going overseas for similar products at a cheaper rate, But I think that several issues need to be ascertained first.

    The first is quality, something that I think is still an issue with Chinese goods

    The other issue is the conditions of the workers and the behaviour of the companies (both ecologically and socially)

    I would like to think that these are all taken into consideraton when these decisions are taken.

    If they are not, I have a real problem with the move.

    If these are taken into consideration, then I have no real issue.

  2. The first is quality, something that I think is still an issue with Chinese goods

    I think is too wide a generalisation. Perhaps it applies to the junk in $2 shops or Kmart TVs but most of the major Japanese electronics, camera etc brands manufacture in China. I have bought a lot of musical gear made in China and have no complaints. In a similar discussion someone raised the point that some of the finest medical technology in the world is made in China.

    The other issue is the conditions of the workers and the behaviour of the companies (both ecologically and socially)

    This has to be considered but in the same breath it’s likely the better China’s economy becomes the better those things will be. We shouldn’t forget that many of those companies are Western ones such as the now infamous Pacific Brands.

  3. A smart society like ours, eager to make savings wherever possible, should advertise in the Golmud Daily for Chinese town officials who might be interested in the position of a politician. I’m sure they would do the job for less money. We could avoid exposing them to airline travel so they don’t become addicted to the perquisites of office. Chinese, being of thin build, wouldn’t take up so much room at the trough.

    I wonder too if MPs who see part of the responsibilities lost to private enterprise, i.e., Commonwealth Railways being sold to Great Southern Railways, should see a corresponding reduction in their pay. With the loss of weighty and complex issues that normally were part of Commonwealth Railways being handballed to the boffins at Great Southern Railways their workload would be reduced so their salary should be reduced. And, the loss of complex and demanding issues that normally caused the responsible minister to spend ⅘ of the day sorting out the problems should see the minister become a maven in other areas of his portfolio responsibilities.

    The same goes for our very own (NSW) RTA minister. Roads are being constructed by private consortia so the minister has less to do. Sydney Ferries is the subject of speculation regarding privatization so the transport minister will have less to do if Sydney Ferries is sold.

    All asylum shoppers, refugees and migrants who were heading for Oz should be pointed in the direction of India and China. That’s where the jobs are.

  4. Sans Blog

    I am sure (OK I hope) you are right about the quality.

    I do understand that China are quite capable of the same standard as anyone else, many times it is the materials not the workmanship which is at issue. Considering the product in question here, one would hope only the highest grade materials are being utilised.

    But as for ‘bettering the economy’ to benefit the citizens, that is all good and well, but I still think that the companies vying for contracts must prove themselves to have the same standard of care of their workers as the ones home here. Anything less is drawing us back down to their standards, not raising them up.

  5. Disgusting? Of course it is!

    This is the same bank who have customers they know need their jobs in order to meet repayments on their loans and yet they’re willing to axe jobs at a moments notice – yes, like thy’ve always done Tom. But consider the circumstances under which they are now doing it. When times were good and the money flowing freely nobody really gave a toss, but now???

    Yes, watch the jobs disappear and be relocated to a country with lower labour costs.

    At this rate the Rudd Government are going to have to rethink their approach, especially if the number of jobs lost far exceed those created. I’m all for more large cash handouts to keep the economy moving, who’s with me?

  6. I just don’t know what Aussie companies can do to compete. It must be very hard trying to keep your company solvent.

    I recently bought some cans of the cheapest chopped tomatoes on the shelves at Coles. They were SPC brand which was once an Australian company (not sure who it was sold to). Anyway I was very surprised when I got home to find they were Product of USA.

    How can it be cheaper to import canned tomatoes from the USA than to can and sell our produce?

    I guess the answer in this case is Howard’s FTA (lol) with the US.

  7. Hang on! Aren’t most of the world leaders warning against the folly of mounting tariff barriers so that world trade collapses? Clearly there are tensions here. But simply putting up the shutters is certainly not the answer.

    Chinese exports are down 25% (approximately) which impacts on our iron ore, coal, gas etc exports. Do we want this Great Recession to be deepened and lengthened by ‘protectionism’?

    Already BHP is in a pickle as the USA ponders restricting some imports – otherwise known as our exports.

    As for China and the quality of its manufacturing – the truth is that’s is quite variable as is the productivity of the Asian workforce in general.

    ” I’m all for more large cash handouts to keep the economy moving, who’s with me?”

    Seems like the only way to go, particularly in the short to medium term. Pump priming and all that.

  8. Clothing will move to China. There is not much technical value add in cotton interlock, weaving or wool spinning.

    In these industries skills are relatively low, they are fairly labour intensive – there is little reason to add value to the raw product prior to export.

    Australia is unlikely to be competitive in the clothing manufacturing industry, possibly outside a few boutique labels.

    We do though have an advantage in processing of metals and minerals. The work has a higher skill level it requires more precision, operating procedures are more detailed. A workforce in this industry has to have a better level of literacy and education.

    We even have relatively inexpensive energy to support these energy intensive industries.

    The reality is though that Australia digs up plenty of minerals and just loads them on a ship, we leave it to another workforce to add the value.

    Politicians ought to get their collective heads around the reasons for this. The electorate should as well,

  9. ” I’m all for more large cash handouts to keep the economy moving, who’s with me?”

    Seems like the only way to go, particularly in the short to medium term. Pump priming and all that.

    It may sound absurd I think it’s one option that will need to be considered as events unfold Nature5.

  10. The reality is though that Australia digs up plenty of minerals and just loads them on a ship, we leave it to another workforce to add the value.

    Obviously not familiar with the “modern” mining industry (and its affiliate industries), Tom…

  11. I think the cash handouts should continue on a fortnightly basis. I mean hand out enough cash and some of it will go back into the shops sooner or later won’t it? Surely the bang for your buck figures are more than encouraging so far? Don’t worry about the debt, the idiots that still have a job can pay that back……

  12. My opinion on this is that there is logic and wisdom involved. It may be logical to let the Chinese produce these things but is it a wise choice??? Just to be negative and to produce more doom and gloom, let us say we get involved in a War like we were in WW2. With all our production shipped overseas will there be a chance to say to our enemies “timeout”????

    We have run out of supplies. We need to stop the war for two weeks while we resupply with imports from China and then we can restart the war when our supplies arrive.

    National security surely says we should make some things here no matter how inefficient.

    Furthermore we lose the multiplier flow-on effects by buying Police Jackets from Australian companies who will employ more people who will spend their wages in Australia

  13. Why stop with uniforms.

    If we’re gonna get the jock-strap there, why not outsource the Chinese Policeman to go with it?

    Hell, why stop there? Why not throw in Defence and Education too, while we’re at it.

    Sreiously, though, I just can’t understand why in Sydney of all places our Boys In Blue can’t get decent cost-efficient locally-made leather wear.

    I mean, it’s just after Mardi Gras and there are a number of over-stocked leather-wear shops in Oxford Street where I’m sure the Government purchasing officer can get a decent discount on any sizeable order.

    None of that staid bomber-jacket stuff, either. These guys stock stuff that will really have Sydney’s Best turning a few heads as they go about their duties. Talk about having a visible police presence on the streets.

    Hell, they’ll probably even throw-in complimentary sets of handcuffs and studded belts with each purchase too.

    So, Memo to the Premier: If you really want to save on leather-wear………

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