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Government urged to buy Australian

Australian-made products should be specified in government building projects, says the Royal Australian Institute of Architects national president Nigel Shaw.

Mr Shaw said he has asked the Prime Minister John Howard and Opposition Leader Kim Beazley to announce policies on the use of imported building materials on government building contracts.

RAIA WA Chapter state president Harry Schubert said, while many basic materials were made locally such as clay bricks and concrete, other manufactured products such as tiles, taps and ovens were often imported.

“There is an ‘Armani suit’ syndrome where people install overseas products for the name and prestige element – it’s a form of labelism,” Mr Schubert said.

He said the two main reasons for the closure of many Australian manufacturing factories were economies of scale and the removal of import tariff barriers.

Mr Schubert said the introduction of the GST may help Australian products to become more competitive.

“The only other way of promoting the use of Australian products is for the

government to implement subsidies or tariffs,” he said.

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