Labor’s red tape forcing clothing retailers offshore

4 Oct 2011 12:09 PMJann Stuckey

4 October 2011

RATHER than protecting pay and conditions for clothing industry outworkers, Bligh Labor’s mandatory regulations were likely to ship their jobs offshore, the LNP warned today.

LNP Shadow Minister for Tourism, Manufacturing and Small Business Jann Stuckey said Labor’s cumbersome red tape and onerous paperwork threatened to kill-off those clothing and textile jobs still left in Queensland.

“This is yet another example of why small business, manufacturing and retail has had enough of this long-term Labor government,” Ms Stuckey said.

“Labor’s new regulations, which they said were needed to protect pay and conditions for out-workers, are in fact having the opposite effect and will cost jobs.

“Queensland wholesalers and retailers are being forced to source from overseas because they won’t have to spend hours each week filling out compliance forms.”

Ms Stuckey said Labor introduced its mandatory code of conduct for retailers in January, and since then every time a shipment of clothes was received, Queensland retailers had to fill out copious forms declaring that every supplier in the chain paid its workers award rates.

“Lisa Hovar, who runs Maternity Revolution, with a retail outlet in northern Brisbane, says it’s burdened her with five hours of paperwork a week. Lisa is right to call it ridiculous.  The new regulations are a very costly mess that are actually putting jobs at risk.”

Ms Stuckey said the Federal Government’s own ‘Business Cost Calculator’ estimated the average cost to Queensland retailers who stocked locally-made product would be more than $43,000 a year – including 522 hours to complete paperwork, file and store records.

“The impact on hardworking retailers, already struggling with the economic downturn, is nearly $22 million a year.

“Industrial Relations Minister Cameron Dick and the rest of Labor’s team including Manufacturing and Small Business Minister Jan Jarratt have failed to listen to or consult with the industry.

“No wonder retailers like Lance Gant, who runs Brisbane’s Maternity Superstore, says many in the industry are simply looking at sourcing everything from overseas to avoid the bureaucratic hassles.

“We can’t have growth in the Queensland economy without a change of government.”

Media contact: Jann Stuckey 0439 755 919