An AMWU campaign to stop illegal dumping has made inroads with the announcement this week that the Federal Government will introduce major reforms to the trading sector.
AMWU National Secretary Dave Oliver said the changes, which will see the introduction of tighter regulations over imported goods and increased resources for Customs to stamp out illegal activity, had come after a sustained campaign by unions.
“The AMWU has been calling for a stricter regime for a very long time. We’ve been lobbying government and industry to see some action.
“In April we held a round table with the AWU and the CFMEU to address the issue. It’s pleasing to see the Government now announce changes,” he said.
“The practice of illegal dumping has the potential to destroy manufacturing jobs around the country. We’ve already seen some major casualties, we don’t want to see anymore.”
Illegal dumping occurs when an overseas company exports its goods to Australia at a below cost price with the aim to drive out local competition and increase prices later.
The practice claimed hundreds of jobs at Mt Gambier tissue manufacturer Kimberley Clark, who ceased production in January, unable to compete with a flood of overseas products.
Mr Oliver said the union welcomed moves to boost Customs resources and the introduction of a statutory body to investigate complaints and review appeals made by business.
“This will deliver more Customs inspectors and the creation of a body of experts to investigate complaints, including union representatives.
“This will safeguard our members across the country. From our print shops and food manufacturers to our metal fabricators and auto component makers.
“This is a significant step in our long term campaign against this uncompetitive and thoroughly destructive practice.”