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COALITION KERFUFFLE: Libs slam Nats for turning to Chinese for Vic Police uniforms

sophiemirabellaLiberal federal MP Sophie Mirabella has lashed the Nationals Victoria Deputy Premier and Police Minister Peter Ryan over his decision to award a contract to supply fabric for Victoria Police uniforms to a company that uses cheap Chinese labour at the expense of a local business that employs 400 people.

The feisty front-bench spokesman for Industry and local MP representing the local community where former supplier Bruck Textiles are located in Wangaratta has demanded an inquiry into Ryan’s decision.

She has told the ABC that his decision was "not good enough"

Bruck’s boss Alan WIlliamson also wants an inquiry and ripped into Ryan in the local press describing his stewardship of his portfolio as a “farce and schemozzle” (displaying an impressive knowledge of Yiddish by country Victorian standards). Williamson excoriated Ryan:

“I expected better from him,’’ he said. Ken Jasper (former member for Murray) would never have allowed this on his watch.’’

Mirabella has also questioned whether tender decisions made on Ryan’s watch are being properly made and has called on him to show some leadership in support of local business rather than let Victoria Police uniforms be made in China:

"I have called on the Police Minister to initiate an inquiry into Victoria Police procurement practices," she said.
"Bruck were told as late as the 6th of July that no such contracts were in place."
Ms Mirabella says it is not good enough for the State Government not to support a local company.
"It’s just not good enough, Bruck is a very good company, it’s … innovative, it has been very active in trying to engage government and governments at all levels need to show leadership in being fair and open in their tender processes with Australian companies," she said.

A Nats MP who preferred not to be named told VEXNEWS that "Sophie was just being Sophie" and noted that this was just a temporary situation while the new-look tough-on-crime dark-blue uniforms were being made.

It is thought unlikely that the state government will take up Ms Mirabella’s call for an inquiry.


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  1. Gee and I thought that the Nationals were the agrarian socialists and supporters of protectionism. Unfortunately the local tender was not competitive; thats free enterprise.

    I remember in the early 1980’s when a local fashion designer (I think it was Prue Acton) was contracted to did a new female uniform for barrack/office use (not for use in the field).

    It was a disgrace with a daggy hat, striped dark and light green shirt and shoes with heels. It made the soldiers look like a air hostess on a 3rd world airline. The women hated it but it did not last.

    Fortunately soldiers now generally wear the field camouflage uniforms most of the time as it should be.

    Then there was the olive drab maternity smock but that is another story.

    Posted by Adrian Jackson | July 22, 2011, 12:19
  2. ***Nats MP who preferred not to be named told VEXNEWS that “Sophie was just being Sophie”***

    He! Mirabella’s got more fire than some of these Western District Fraser clones. And fire’s what we want now, just listen to talk radio.

    Posted by Byron in Wahroonga | July 22, 2011, 12:20
  3. she’s done a lot of jobs on a lot of people

    Posted by Anonymous | July 22, 2011, 13:22
  4. Which Squaddie fired the ‘live’ pellet into Sophies big round voluptuous tum?

    Posted by anon | July 22, 2011, 20:02
  5. here here Mirabella!

    Posted by Anon. | July 22, 2011, 22:49
  6. What an idiot.Sofia does not appear to recognise that trade is a constitutionally a Commonwealth matter.If she thinks that the local textile manufacturer needs help to compete with China (and probably does), then she should approach the Government for finacial underpinning of all similar textile manfactureres. It is not the responsibility or good sense to divert funds away from schools and hospitals to do the Commonwealth’s job.

    Posted by bill hartigan | July 24, 2011, 8:35
  7. Bloody hell, I’m agreeing with Sophie!

    It is disgraceful that major government departments are allowed to outsource offshore, and to buy offshore items that are readily available in Australia at a reasonable price.

    I wonder what Ryan would say if the Police started importing milk from China for the staff cafeteria?

    Posted by Syphologist | July 24, 2011, 16:03
  8. It is more disturbing that our iconic slouch hats are being outsourced

    Posted by Bardsley | July 24, 2011, 17:17
  9. Peter Ryan is a top politician.

    Presumably, the original recommendation and decision was made by police command – we can blame the former Commissioner for the process and move on. There’s no need for an enquiry which will probably cost more than the uniforms when you factor in a dozen silks and juniors and an army of bureaucrats to service it. An investigation would be a complete waste of money.

    Sophie Mirabella is being a typical local politician (all politics is local – ask Tip O’Neill)

    She is positioning for the new contract, not the one that’s just been awarded.

    The Member for Indi is highly talented and correct line when it comes to economic deregulation and competitive tendering. She knows that the issue is ensuring the right decision criteria are specified up front. It is not acceptable for governments to change the rules during the process (e.g. Radio Australia) or even rort the outocme.

    Having said that, she also knows the local sensibilities and needs to be careful to ensure that every opportunity is given to the local suppliers to win a fair tender. I am sure with the correct criteria, they will next time.

    Of course, they could be a lot more competitive if the oppressive (to employers) Fair Work system was not in place as it isn’t in the People’s Republic of China.

    Posted by Giuseppe De Simone | July 24, 2011, 20:11
  10. I clash between Mirabella and Ryan….I’m scared!! I do have a super big man-crush on Ryan though.

    Posted by The Boss | July 24, 2011, 21:53
  11. ask sophie about noel crichton-browne’s role in her pre-selection – i dare vexnews

    Posted by slickwilly | July 25, 2011, 22:38
  12. Boofa broke poll cash laws


    Ahh you can take the boy out of the corruption but you can’t take the corruption out of the boy!

    This c?nt is absolutely toxic.

    Anyone in the Victorian Government or local government (you know who you are!) who associate with this ‘gentleman’ are now on notice!

    Posted by BoofWatch | July 26, 2011, 7:06
  13. I is innocent!

    Posted by Boofa Leigh | July 26, 2011, 16:46
  14. Why Boofy you are as guilty as sin my dear boy!

    Posted by Wenchy | July 26, 2011, 17:49
  15. The gifts I receive are the amorous advances of so many of my admirers. I love being paid in kind.

    Posted by Lowrain Woeful | July 26, 2011, 19:16
  16. Boofa First!
    Business Last…

    He is such a scumbag

    Posted by Good Golly Miss Molly | July 26, 2011, 21:35
  17. Keeno. Rorts. Lies.

    Posted by AKD | July 26, 2011, 21:40
  18. Oh dear everyone has heard of ‘cash for comment’ but when ‘cash for tricks’ hits the Press I am in more shit than a Werribee Duck, Andee’s going to hit the roof and the CSA!

    Posted by Boofa | July 26, 2011, 21:49
  19. Boofa and Matthew Guy sitting in a tree…

    Posted by Backdoor property deals for happy insiders | July 27, 2011, 11:11
  20. Where are Fatty Doyle & McPerton? Come back, I miss the entertainment!

    Posted by Frances | July 28, 2011, 14:00
  21. Labor has Progressive Business and the Unions. The Liberal Party has its 500 Club and various local supporter groups. The Greens have David Hicks as a signficant donor.

    We know how the unions influence Labor’s policies.

    We know how business influences Liberal Party policies.

    But can we have an explanation as to how the big donation from David Hicks to the Greens has “influenced” the policies of the Greens?

    Or is that to be judged by different standards and then reported by the Government’s Pravda?

    Posted by Green and Proud | July 28, 2011, 23:09
  22. Looks like the “Age” has caught Victorian Liberal Party Secretary Andrew Abercrombie commiting a serious case of “Insider Trading”!

    Posted by johhny warren | August 2, 2011, 0:54


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