December 10, 2012
Federal Member for Gippsland Darren Chester is lobbying the Treasurer for a review of tender arrangements to help the Maryvale Mill win more government contracts.
A delegation from the Maryvale Mill went to Canberra last week after the mill lost supply contracts to the Federal Departments of Human Services and Defence, worth more than half a million dollars.
At present, the contracts are awarded on a financial basis to the company which can provide paper products for the cheapest price.
Mr Chester said that local jobs and the flow-on effects should be considered before awarding tenders to overseas companies.
“I understand that birth and death certificates for Australian people and even Australian passports are being printed on paper made overseas, even though the Maryvale Mill makes this speciality paper right here in Gippsland,” Mr Chester said.
“The Maryvale Mill employs almost 1000 people directly and underpins the viability of neighbouring mills like Australian Sustainable Hardwoods in Heyfield and Carter Holt Harvey in Morwell. It is Gippsland’s largest private employer.
“We must support these Australian jobs and purchase paper for all official government documents from an Australian factory wherever possible.”
Mr Chester said taxation revenue should also be considered as part of the tender process and that too, would give the Maryvale Mill a further advantage.
“I understand that for every $5 ream of paper produced at Maryvale, the government receives $1.25 in tax, therefore, the government is paying only $3.75 in real terms to purchase a ream of paper from the Maryvale Mill,” Mr Chester said.
“The government needs a new formula that takes into account the number of Australian jobs, the flow-on effects to the community and the benefits this contract would deliver to Australian people.
“I have asked the Treasurer to review tender arrangements so that the government considers each ream to be worth $3.75 rather than $5 in its tender analysis.
“We must protect local jobs and make sure we support factories like the Maryvale Mill.”