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What does the Future Made in Australia Act mean for local TCF manufacturers?

TCF Industry Update

What does the Future Made in Australia Act mean for local TCF manufacturers?

On 11 April, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese announced the new Future Made in Australia Act.

The goal of this legislation is, ‘To boost investment, create jobs and seize the opportunities of a future made in Australia,’ said Prime Minister Albanese, ‘This means looking at how government procurement can support small business and local manufacturing, as well as sustainability and the circular economy’. 

‘Ethical Clothing Australia welcomes the announcement about the Future Made in Australia Act. It is positive news for our local textile, clothing and manufacturing industry, and represents a shift in the way we value locally and ethically made products,’ said Rachel Reilly, the National Manager of Ethical Clothing Australia, ‘We look forward to hearing the full details of the Act’. 

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The Australian Textile, Clothing and Footwear (TCF) industry is a key driver of regional growth, employing more than 489,000 people and contributing over $27 billion to the Australian economy annually, according to research by the Australian Fashion Council. 

In 2018, the Victorian Government mandated that government buyers must procure locally manufactured uniforms and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). As part of this mandate, manufacturers must be accredited, or in the process of seeking accreditation by Ethical Clothing Australia and maintain their accreditation throughout the term of the contract. This policy has helped to protect workers while adding to the demand for locally manufactured products and boosting jobs in regional areas.  

According to Prime Minister Albanese, the announcement of the Future Made in Australia Act follows legislation in The United States, The European Union, Japan, South Korea and Canada, which aims to increase onshore production and tighten foreign investment in those regions.  

‘All these countries are investing in their industrial base, their manufacturing capability and their economic sovereignty,’ he said, ‘This is not old-fashioned protectionism or isolationism – it is the new competition’. 

The full details of the Future Made in Australia Act are set to be announced as part of the 2024 Federal Budget on Tuesday 14 May.