Government under fire for importing paper
The manufacturing union representing pulp and paper workers has slammed the Morrison Government for abandoning local workers during the COVID-19 jobs crisis by buying Indonesian paper instead of photocopy paper manufactured locally by Australian Paper in Victoria’s Latrobe Valley.
Commonwealth Government purchasing of Australian made paper plummeted from 85 per cent pre-pandemic to just 33 per cent with Treasurer Josh Frydenberg’s Department of the Treasury being one of the worst offenders.
The union is writing to supporters in the Government, including local MPs, calling for their assistance in establishing an urgent probe into why imported paper is being used by the government over locally produced paper.
“This is a disgrace, a scandal and we’ll be holding the government to account,” said Michael O’Connor, National Secretary, CFMEU Manufacturing.
“At a time when agencies like Josh Frydenberg’s Department of Treasury should have been doing everything in their power to assist local workers and businesses fight to save every job, they were buying Indonesian paper.”
With office closures during the 2020 lockdowns severely impacting office paper sales 200 workers at Australian Paper took enforced leave across July-August as 25,000 tonnes of Australian made photocopy paper stock sat in warehouses.
“When Prime Minister Morrison was saying we were all in this together the senior Victorian Liberal in his government, Josh Frydenberg, was missing," Mr O'Connor said.
“Josh Frydenberg was complaining about the impact of health measures on the Victorian economy when his own department wasn’t doing its bit to support jobs in the state.
“We call on Josh Frydenberg to show some leadership by immediately committing to all Commonwealth government departments and agencies purchasing Australian made paper.”
Should the government commit to only buying locally made products where they are available?