An Albanese Labor government, if elected, would push for a "buy local, think global" post-COVID economic recovery, with Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese set to announce a 10-point "Buy Australia" plan on Saturday.
Mr Albanese will use the NSW Labor conference to detail a local procurement pledge for government contracts, as well as a proposal to establish a "Future Made in Australia" office within the Department of Finance.
In excerpts of the speech seen by The Canberra Times, the Opposition Leader will say Australian workers and Australian businesses need better backing as the pandemic has exposed holes in the economy.
"As consumers, Australians often hear the words - buy local, think global," Mr Albanese will say.
"Australians do their best to patronise local businesses, knowing our hard-earned money supports the wages of our friends, neighbours and local community. The pandemic has seen this emphasised in our cities and towns."
"Governments should recognise this principle in its own purchases and activities."
"Under the Buy Australian Act, maximising the benefit of government purchases to Australia will be the law of the land," Mr Albanese will say.
"Labor will establish a Future Made in Australia office within the Department of Finance to drive a whole-of-government approach."
Specifically, the opposition is proposing to batch government tenders into multiple packages to help smaller companies bid for them.
Noting that government contracts have been worth $200 billion over the past three years, Mr Albanese described the Labor plan as critical to Australia's recovery from the economic hits of the pandemic.
"The way in which governments use their purchasing power reflects how they view the government's role in shaping the economy," he will say.
There's also a link to job creation while homegrown businesses are prioritised.
"We will introduce a secure Australian jobs code, which will guide Commonwealth engagement to ensure taxpayers' money is used to support secure employment," he will announce.
"Labor will strengthen the requirement for companies to declare whether they are paying their fair share of tax in Australia, including disclosure of any use of tax havens as part of their financial arrangements."
The Morrison government has also made its own changes to support local businesses.
In late 2020, it updated procurement rules to make it easier for small and medium businesses bidding for government contracts.
An Indigenous Procurement Policy (IPP) was introduced in 2015 to increase the rate of purchasing from Indigenous enterprises.
About $188 million in contracts have been awarded to Indigenous small to medium enterprises through the Digital Transformation Agency's marketplaces since 2018.
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