(Cairns... Far North Queensland)
It should be abundantly clear to the Federal government that ALL Australians put jobs before tariff cuts.
The results of an opinion poll commissioned by the Australian Business Chamber show 85% of people would prefer tariff levels maintained, and over 90% believe tariff cuts would mean significant job losses to a wide cross section of primary and secondary industries, which would include agriculture, cattle, textiles, footwear, mining and manufacturing, to name a few.
The Prime Minister has consistently declared that lowering unemployment is the government's top priority, but at the same time its policies on tariffs and privatisation are adding to the growing number of jobless.
Before slashing or reducing tariffs, the government would be wise to consider that Australians would be prepared to pay higher prices for Australian Made goods in order to prevent further job losses. They certainly do not want to see more small business closures, knowing full well that small businesses are the backbone of our economy.
The government MUST act urgently to protect jobs under threat by cheap imported Asian products, often produced by women and children in their homes for a pittance.
The government MUST emulate the example of European and other Western countries with equivalent, sustainable tariff protection for Australian producers, to ensure that Australia does not become economically dependent on Asian nations for our manufactured goods.
Written and Authorised by Selwyn Johnston, Cairns FNQ 4870 Australia