Job Losses at Bonds and Pacific

The loss of 1850 jobs at Pacific Brands, including Bonds, is sad but unavoidable.

Australia cannot compete with the lower labour rates of countries like China and Vietnam and Indonesia when the factory production cost of the product in Australia approaches say 25%(labour). Hence the TCF industry is doomed unless it can be automated like say elements of the carpet industry. This argument excludes high fashion label products where the success is not tied primarily to price. Take a look at the world's most successful garment producer, Zara, and examine their methods and you will see that the primary reason for success is rapid fashion change, fast supply chains and cheap labour.

When is the current Government going to appreciate that Australia can only compete globally in areas where it has a well defined competitive advantage.

The recent Cutler report on innovation, had an opportunity to set the strategic parameters but failed to do so.

Manufacturing in this country is doomed unless priorities are set and recognition is given to industries where we can win due our natural advantages. Some of these can of course be intellectual such as those exhibited by Resmed and Cochlear, but further support for the TCF industry is not warranted.



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