Bligh red tape stitches up clothing companies

7 Sep 2011 2:46 PMJann Stuckey

7 September 2011

The Bligh Labor Government’s red tape is choking Queensland’s clothing manufacturing industry, the State Opposition warned again today.

Shadow Minister for Tourism, Manufacturing and Small Business Jann Stuckey said Industrial Relations Act changes were hurting local clothing manufacturers.   Major sports uniform supplier KooGa Australia, which employs 50 Gold Coast locals, is considering moving offshore.

The Industrial Relations Act changes force manufacturers and retailers to complete repetitive forms for every clothing order to declare all workers involved in the production are fairly paid.

This means staff are tied up filling forms and dealing with red tape that has nothing to do with conditions for workers.

“The Labor Government claims these changes are supposed to protect workers, but are instead hurting companies which already look after their employees and are creating local jobs,” Ms Stuckey said.

“No one wants to see workers being taken advantage of. The recurring complaint is that there is just too much paperwork for smaller businesses to cope with.

“Similar laws in NSW are less onerous because they require far fewer forms.

“Labor must sit down and consult with small retailers and struggling manufacturers to simplify these cumbersome forms.

“From clothing boutiques in Cairns to manufacturers on the Gold Coast, Queensland cannot afford to lose any manufacturing or retail jobs due to ill thought out legislation.”

Ms Stuckey said within a day of Blue-Scope Steel announcing the closure of its hot strip mill and a blast furnace causing the loss of a 1000 jobs, Australian Workers Union secretary Paul Howes warned that Australian manufacturing was facing a major crisis.

“Yet this tired, 20 year old Labor government is doing nothing to keep Queensland manufacturers operating here,” Ms Stuckey said.

“A CanDo Government will work hard to cut waste and red tape and govern for all Queenslanders.”

Media contact: Jann Stuckey 0439 755 919