Government reveals reason behind unpopular army decision

You might remember reading about how Australia’s new army dress uniform is now being made in China. If you missed

You might remember reading about how Australia’s new army dress uniform is now being made in China.

If you missed the news, here’s a quick recap.

The new dress uniforms are being made in China under a $9 million contract with Australian Defence Apparel that was signed last year.

You might be wondering why?

Well, the Defence Minister has told Parliament why – and it all cost comes down to cost.

Senator Marise Payne said having the uniforms made in China was the best value for money

“Australian Defence Apparel’s tender was assessed as the best value for money with the tendered price representing an estimated saving of over 18 per cent over the prices at that time,” she said.

“Australian Defence Apparel has estimated that manufacture in Australia would be triple the cost of the contract as it stands.”

The jacket and pants of the army uniform are being made in China, while the traditional Akubra slouch hat and RM Williams parade boots are still being made here in Australia.

But the Opposition isn’t happy, accusing the Defence Minister of failing to explain why the uniforms can’t be manufactured in Bendigo where Australian Defence Apparel is based using Australian materials.

“Minister Payne told the Senate that the Government had signed the contract on the 30th of April 2015 with Australian Defence Apparel to ship the work to manufacture the dress uniform to China,” Labor Senator Kim Carr said in statement.

“Just 20 days later Minister Payne had the front to visit Australian Defence Apparel in Bendigo speaking to workers about their high skill work with the full knowledge that the work for the new dress uniform would be sent offshore.”

The Chinese uniform contract has outraged fellow Senators Nick Xenophon and ex-military Jacqui Lambie.

Senator Nick Xenophon described it as a “disgrace”, while Jacqui Lambie posted a photo of the new uniforms on Facebook with the caption:

“Say goodbye to more Aussie jobs!! That’s the liberal parties answer to saving a few dollars $$$$”

What do you think? Is the Defence Minister’s explanation good enough? Or is having the uniforms made in China a good way to save money?

  1. Richard Banfield  

    What became of Malcoms election manifesto of “Jobs and Growth”? Growth for whom?

  2. Wilma  

    They say it is cutting cost, but how about the cost of the dole, when the people will be out of work. I wish this gov would get a life instead of ruining other peoples

  3. Eugene Thomas  

    Again talking up how WE need to buy Australian to keep Aussies in jobs but it does not refer to them because??? Sure it may cost more, but our workers now go on welfare which costs??. I’ll bet that was never factored in, because she is not responsible for that area, ” not my concern”.

    • Maureen  

      You get what you pay for … low dollars, low quality

  4. Helen waterfall  

    I agree with Wilma should be Australian made. God forgive me I voted for these idiots. Oh why don’t the Labor get rid of Shorten and put in Albenese

    • Peter Greer  

      Yes Hele that would be a great idea then we need to get rid of all those on the side.Cant see how they would cost more here surely most of the planning is computerized & the make up made easy by computers again we have government selling the farm

  5. Val Hutchings  

    They say it is cutting cost, but how about the cost of the dole, when the people will be out of work.
    This is a disgrace and how insulting to our workers in Bendigo more or less saying their work is not good enough, this is also an insult to all service men and women to be wearing clothing manufactured by a country that uses child labour and less quality checks.
    There will be no saving as the uniforms will need to be replaced due to inferior quality more often.

  6. Isabel Liddle  

    I don’t beleive either of the major parties see past $$$s . People join the army, give years of service and then find it difficult to get employment – all jobs are being sent off shore. Government should not be outsourcing and sending defence supplies overseas.

  7. Jill Austin  

    I saw the pictures on Tv and the uniform is a different colour .Have they thought about the quality? and the lasting ability.Also isn’t Australia known for its wool industry and wool is both warm and cool.

    • dan from  

      its a new colour. looks more like the historical uniforms

  8. When you consider the cost of the dole and the lack of wages being spent in this country , plus the pride of our soldiers wearing this uniform, it stinks .Our soldiers [ Gun fodder to the govt ] are worth far more than the pollys and should be treated with respect . DISGUSTING

  9. Marilyn E  

    So bad! We are selling off or giving away our manufacturing, we should support our industry and help our own, shame on the government for doing this , they are selling off our country , we once could do everything and still can but no the government keeps selling us off.

  10. Hev  

    If giving big business a tax break is supposed to put cash back into the economy then surely paying Australian’s wages REALLY will do that. Are we suckers #Malcolm Turnbull ?
    Plus don’t kill off our aged population with your financial cuts to aged care. We love and respect our old folk even if you don’t.

  11. Anna  

    It’s too expensive to have them made in Australia because of all our safety regulations and other regulations and decent salaries that people have fought for over the years. Why bring in all these things to make our own country a proper place to live, then give the work to another country that doesn’t care about these things. Oh, because politicians and big business people in Australia don’t really care either.

  12. Stephanie Cocks  

    UNBELIEVABLE! Our military wearing foreign made uniforms! WHAT AN INSULT!
    But then I guess ‘everything is made in China’ these days.
    So much spin off if the uniforms are made in Australia. All lost now. How long before Australian Defence Apparel closes down, with what cost, how many employees on the dole?
    Dole paid by the taxpayer, and with absolutely nothing in return.
    Even if the uniforms are made here at a higher price what goes around comes around, sure not coming around if they are made in China.
    Sadly these days the almighty $ is the bottom line.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *