Australia’s military procurement laws have been questioned by the Footwear Manufacturers’ Association, who have compared them unfavourably against other countries’ policies.
News Corp reports that the FMA’s Phil Butt said Australia needed to keep its industrial base, and that other countries favoured locally made boots to supply their military.
The comments came after the news this week that Rossi Boots lost out on a contract – worth $15 million over five years – to provide around 100,000 pairs of boots to Defence.
Boots made in Indonesia will be purchased by the Defence Department after South Australia's Rossi failed a value-for-money test.
“We need to keep a warm industrial base in Australia to be able to keep manufacturing in the future,” said FMA president Phil Butt, according to News.
He cited the 1941 Berry Amendment in the United States, which gives preference to local goods, and two recent contracts awarded to local bootmakers in Canada.
A parliamentary inquiry into government procurement established by Senators Nick Xenophon and John Madigan will report on Friday.
“We are concerned that the procurement processes do not serve the interests of the Australian people—surely the first and foremost task of any government,” explained Xenophon earlier in the year.