Stop witch-hunt of local clothing companies

13 Oct 2011 4:28 PMJann Stuckey

13 October 2011

THE LNP has demanded the Bligh government stop its witch-hunt of local clothing manufacturers and retailers.

LNP Shadow Minister for Tourism, Manufacturing and Small Business Jann Stuckey today called on Industrial Relations Minister Cameron Dick to guarantee that no clothing retailer or manufacturer would be prosecuted under Labor’s onerous laws.

“Labor and Mr Dick have got this so, so wrong,” Ms Stuckey said.

“Their witch-hunt, under the guise of their Mandatory Code of Practice for outworkers in the clothing industry, has absolutely nothing to do with protecting local jobs and conditions.

“In fact the opposite is the case. It’s forcing local companies to contemplate off-shoring their manufacturing. In Queensland, they have to comply with mountains of nonsense red-tape and hours of filling in pages and pages of forms when they already keep detailed records of purchases.

“This is about Cameron Dick looking after his union mates, and chasing down small businesses who are still involved in making clothes or stocking locally-made garments.

“It’s affecting five thousand Queensland businesses and it’s not good enough from Mr Dick to say he’ll look at ‘tweaking the code’. It needs more than a tweak.

“I want the Minister to guarantee that no business, retailer or manufacturer, will be prosecuted under the Mandatory Code – because the requirements are just so stupid.

“Even the Federal Government’s own ‘Business Cost Calculator’ estimates the average cost to Queensland retailers who stock locally-made goods would be $43,000 out of pocket a year, as well as wasting 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.

“Mr Dick and Manufacturing and Small Business Minister Jan Jarratt must start listening and consulting with local clothing makers and retailers – before it’s too late.

“The LNP has been speaking up for our local businesses for months calling for these regulations to be simplified.

“We can’t have growth in the Queensland economy without a change of government. We need to get Queensland back on track.”

Media contact: Jann Stuckey 0439 755 919