LETTERS: by Gerald.W. HuntNews Weekly
Destruction of Australia's textile industry
, November 29, 2003
The closure of Rocklea Spinning Mills is a final chapter in the Government's policies of wealth destruction, started so ably by Gough Whitlam in the 1970s, and pursued blindly by those that have followed.
The closure of the Rocklea Company is the end point of that sorry story.
The overhead costs of labour in manufacturing very largely legislated by Government and Labor Courts, have risen beyond 50%. so that a weekly wage of $480 with its labour overheads costs $720. American labour overheads are half that.
Recently, I was told of iron castings once bought locally for $12.50 are now imported from China for $1.50. A production engineer who visited the foundry saw men carrying a crucible of molten iron between two sticks, and passing over the top of floor moulders, crouched at work! No health and safety laws there! No sick pay, no holiday pay. No nothing!
China is at war with the USA. Its "fixed currency" and very cheap labour costs, that have "nil" overhead costs, with its cheap goods, will ruin America: already thousands of textile mills and other manufacturers have closed .
As a manufacturer in Sydney, my lawyer was that fine man Mr John Howard, now the Prime Minister. Of all people he will know the importance of a strong secondary industry, both to provide work, and in the nation's interest. He must now act.Gerald.W. Hunt,