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Politicians' industry showcase to hit Geelong this month

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The Australian Manufacturing and Farming Program, organised by a group of federal politicians, will be holding an expo on April 29 at the Royal Geelong Showgrounds.

The group, established by Victorian Senator John Madigan (a former blacksmith and boilermaker), SA Senator Nick Xenophon and federal MP Bob Katter, has been running for more than two years.

According to its website, the initiative “promote[s] industry, manufacturing and farming and bring[s] politicians out of Parliament House and into the real world.”

Xenophon told local paper The Geelong Advertiser that, “The amount of diverse and world class products that comes out of Geelong is enormous and support is needed to maintain Geelong’s economy.

“While there have been so many job losses in local manufacturing there is genuine hope that the quality of material that is produced in Geelong is world class.”

He added that a loss of manufacturing would not say positive things about Australia.

“Once you’ve lost manufacturing jobs you’ve lost them forever,” said Xenophon.

Last year Xenophon suggested the federal government should consider intervening to reduce the Australian currency, the strength of which has been a difficulty for the industry.

Xenophon and Madigan also spent more than $5,000 each to buy a 750-piece, Australian-made dining set for Parliament House, which had been using crockery sourced from the United Arab Emirates.

Madigan, an enthusiastic supporter of Australian-made products, said in his maiden speech that, “A country is what a country makes. The great economies of the world have strong manufacturing sectors.”

For more about the Geelong Is Strong industry day, contact Madigan’s senior adviser Brendan Gullifer on 0428 340 755.

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