Senators John Madigan from Victoria and Nick Xenophon from South Australia have paid $5,366 each on a 750-piece dining set, saying they were appalled that Parliament House was using crockery sourced from the United Arab Emirates.
The Herald Sun reports that the Senators have expressed dismay at the lack of support for the country’s manufacturers, with Madigan, from the Democratic Labor Party, calling the imported dining ware an “insult”.
"The situation is so dire that in order to get Australian-made goods into our Federal Parliament, Nick and I had to buy them ourselves," he told the Herald Sun.
Xenophon said the lack of Australian made crockery was “a crock”.
The new sets were made by Robert Gordon Australia, with the coat of arms design added by Unique Ceramics.
"I'm looking forward to Kevin Rudd and Tony Abbott welcoming this gift and eating off the plates,” he said.
"It's enough of a scandal the plates at Parliament House aren't locally made. It will be a bigger scandal if they knock back this gift."
Madigan, a metal fabricator by trade, mentioned the shock at discovering the parliamentary dinner sets were imported in a profile in The Australian published in June. He also used his maiden speech to the Senate to voice his support for the local industry.
“A country is what a country makes. The great economies of the world have strong manufacturing sectors,” he said.
“They do not survive by simply digging holes in the ground, turning their country into a nation of drink waiters or educating their competitors on how to bury them.”
Image: Herald Sun