TCF Industry Package 2009-2010 Federal Budget
Textile Clothing & Footwear Union of Australia, TCF Industry Package 2009 – 2010 Federal Budget Background.
During the Howard Government's watch, the TCF industry experienced:
• Over 40,000 Australian TCF jobs loses
• Five tariff cuts since the late 1990s with another due in 2010 so that TCF industries are less protected
• A halving of TCF exports with imports almost doubling
• Four Free Trade Agreements that have hurt Australian manufacturing with nine more in the pipeline
Under the Rudd Government:
• 1850 clothing jobs will go at Pacific Brands when the largest manufacturer in Australia moves offshore
• Further job losses at Huyck (150); Melba (170); Brintons (over 100)
• Millions of dollars lost in workers' entitlements, for example at Melba, $9million
• FTA with ASEAN has been concluded and progression toward an FTA with China is advanced
• 9 months have passed since the receipt by Government of the TCF Review Report without Government response or action to support the industry.
TCF Review Report:
A Federal Government Review of the textile, clothing and footwear industry was conducted last year by Professor Roy Green. Professor Green handed his Report to Government in August 2008. No response to the Report has been made until the 2009-2010 Budget.
He made 15 Recommendations for the TCF industry, including:
• Total Government assistance be provided in the amount of $250million from 2009- 2015
• The establishment of the TCF Innovation Capability Program (TCF ICP) with a budget of $200million– to support the development of innovative capability through funding to companies
- Eligibility criteria include: value-adding to the Australian economy, ethical production and supply chain standards, additionality of program funding, employee involvement in change projects and accountability for delivery of project aims
• The continuation of funding for retrenched workers (TCF SAP (part 1)) with a budget of $25million.
- establishment of a TCF Innovation Council- $12million
- introduction of an Australian Ethical Quality Mark- $8 million
- formulation of a National Sizing Standard- $5million
• Government procurement to support local industry
• Tariff reductions to proceed
• Total funding is grossly inadequate. $184million per year is needed to ensure the viability of the industry
• The timeframe for assistance is too short and longer term planning and parallel commitment is necessary to fully maximise the potential benefits from the TCF plan. Government assistance should run until 2020
• Funding to companies must be conditional upon ongoing local manufacturing, transparent supply chains and labour standards which are able to be audited by TCFUA
• Government procurement must be immediate and agencies must abide by effective procurement policies which support local industry
• Funding for retrenched workers (TCF-SAP) of $25 million constitutes a significant reduction- current program promised $50million over 10 years. We seek an amount of $50million.
• No further tariff reductions
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Textile Clothing & Footwear Union of Australia