Nick Xenophon Says This Week Is Not Just About The Carbon Tax

Paula Bronstein/Getty

Senator Nick Xenophon has provided an evaluation of last week’s Senate shenanigans.

In a number of interviews over the weekend he said the new senators, many of whom have been elected on a small primary vote, have a lot to contribute to the Upper House.

On Newsradio last Friday he was effusive about the prospects of the Palmer United Party Senators contribution going forward.

But in an interview with ABC AM Host Chris Uhlmann this morning, Xenophon noted there is an issue that has his interest which is more important economically than the carbon tax.

Uhlamm asked if the 100 year old South Australian base boot maker Rossi missing out on a contract to make boots for Australia’s army threatened its future.

Here is an excerpt from the exchange and Xenophon’s response has all the hallmarks of an agenda setter.

NICK XENOPHON: Well, it makes it tougher for a great iconic Australian company, employ 75 people, it’s made boots for our troops in World Wars I and II and subsequently.

The issue is this, the Government spends $40 billion a year on procurement, yet there’s a so called- there is not no level playing field. The procurement rules don’t take into account the economic benefits of making something here in Australia.

This is actually much bigger than the carbon tax in terms of the impact on Australian industry and jobs and that’s the message I’ll be trying to ram home this week.

CHRIS UHLMANN: So what’s the solution?

NICK XENOPHON: Well, the solution is to actually take into account the multiplier effect of making something here, of having Australian-made quality in respect of our goods; $40 billion a year is a lot of jobs and effectively, with this boot contract, it’s up to $15 million that will mean an overseas company will expand while Australian companies shrink.

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