About AUSBUY

The Australian Companies Institute Limited (AUSBUY) is the only organisation that represents Australian Owned businesses. That is the integrity of the AUSBUY brand.

AUSBUY is About:

  • empowering all Australians to work together to support our own,
  • giving Australians information about which businesses are Australian owned so that they can make balanced decisions about where they spend their hard earned dollars, and understand the consequences for now and future generations,
  • enabling ordinary Australians to spread the word about the real implications of foreign ownership.

Our message is clear and has been consistent since 1991 - when we do not own our companies the decisions are not made here, the profits do not stay here and our jobs, skills and reinvestment are at risk. We become tenants in our own country. This means AUSBUY’s reason for being is more relevant than ever.

Australia’s future deserves your support. Every dollar you spend on Australian owned companies supports other Australians’ jobs and multiplies around Australia.

The effectiveness of your spend is limited and most goes overseas when you buy imported goods or spend on foreign companies here instead of Australian owned companies. It is difficult to make the decision when goods are made here. But for how long, where are the components and produce sourced and where to the profits go? Off shore because foreign owned companies do not pay the same tax as Australian owned companies (just 10% withholding tax). When they really start to make money they leave, set up off shore and sell back to us. Is this what you call a level playing field?

Who is left to pay off our burgeoning debt? Ordinary Australians and Australian owned businesses,

AUSBUY is a not-for-profit and gets no government support yet our owned businesses form the foundation of this economy and our society. Over one million small businesses employ over 4 million Australian families.

Why do Australian owned businesses need to be represented?

It is simple. For decades we have allowed our most productive companies to be taken over by foreign owned companies.

AUSBUY is not talking about protectionism. We are simply saying we want a fair go. We want to give priority to our own companies and have our people working for Australia's future. We need to secure our strategic industries and ensure we keep controlling interest in our future. Australian who have contributed to this country deserve this. We want all Australians to make informed decisions about where they spend their hard earned money and that the majority of it goes to other Australians.

Successive generations of Australians have laboured for this country through being productive, clever and innovative, and we stand up against the best in any measure. Just ask the rest of the world how good we are. Our Clean Green agriculture, our innovations in science and medicine are recognised as significant. We have always performed above our weight. It is about time we recognised this ourselves. The reasoned voice of ordinary Australians is shouted down by vested interests. Short term thinking is limiting our future prosperity. We will become tenants in our own country.

Foreign ownership means a steady erosion of the Australian values which built this country. We have failed to put US first in AUStralia as we espouse the mantra of globalisation. Foreign companies borrow against our assets to create debt for us, and do not pay the same taxes as our owned companies.

We understand we operate in a global market place but we have forgotten about home.  All we want is a Fair Go!

Or as one AUSBUY member said “Put Your Money Where Your House Is”. AUSBUY members can supply you 24/7 from cradle to grave. You choose!

Australians making a difference

Yet despite this hostile environment, Australians continue to start and build good and successful businesses in a competitive environment. It is these businesses which AUSBUY represents. They need our support for them to flourish and keep the decisions, profits and jobs here.

No other organisation represents Australian owned businesses providing a range of goods and services to the local market and overseas across all business sectors. There are no foreign owned companies amongst AUSBUY’s members – that is the integrity of the AUSBUY brand. Others may pretend to be owned but there is no guarantee that the bulk of the profits are staying here or that the decisions are made here.

AUSBUY members reflect our capacity as Australians to be productive, clever and innovative. All we want is that Australia can capitalise on these skills and not lose the rewards of our hard work and ingenuity overseas.

How did AUSBUY begin?

AUSBUY’s founding president, Harry Wallace, formed the Australian Companies Institute as a result of his own business experience.

His 120 year old business had to be sold as the Australian printing ink industry, like many other industries, moved from being 80% Australian owned to 95% foreign owned.

In 1991 he established this Institute to give the type of support to Australian owned companies that he wished had been given to his own company. AUSBUY continues this support through the AUSBUY Guide, Connection Magazine and various other initiatives which add benefits to AUSBUY Corporate Members and the Friends of AUSBUY as advocates in communities around Australia.

If you would like to join AUSBUY as a Corporate Member of Friend of AUSBUY then go to the Join section of this site for more details.

Important disclaimer

The Australian Companies Institute is a voluntary organisation and does not have the resources to verify the information on this website. If a mistake occurs we will publish a correction as soon as possible. No person should act on the contents of this publication but should make his/her enquiries and obtain advice from a qualified person. The Association expressly disclaims all and any liability and responsibility to any person in respect of anything and of the consequences of anything done or omitted to be done by any person in reliance, whether wholly or partially, upon the whole or any parts of this publication.

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Consider This

The Implications of Foreign Ownership to Australians

Who will pay our burgeoning debt?

  • It will be future generations of Australians and Australian businesses.

The erosion of Australia’s capacity to be productive and for Australians to share in that wealth has been allowed to continue for decades unabated. The people of Australia deserve better.

  • Foreign companies have been allowed to buy our businesses – that is not investment:
    • they buy successful established businesses which consolidates their wealth and erodes ours,
    • only Australians risk their capital to start and build businesses.
  • Foreign ownership means:
    • they borrow against our assets,
    • take profits off shore before tax to ensure they get a high return on their investment in the short to medium term,
    • create debt for the country which generations of Australians will have to pay back,
    • limit our export income,
    • replace Australian suppliers with off shore suppliers,
    • continue to use deceptive labelling to promote some of our iconic brands, knowing that Australian consumers good will to support Australian businesses,
    • and years after they have purchased our businesses continue to claim they are Australian owned and made.

The pace of takeovers has not diminished.

Consider these issues.

  • Cash strapped Governments sell off our assets to foreign companies with little regard for the long term implications and the erosion of the core values which built this country, for example:
    • Overturn the embargo on uranium mining
      • the first SA mine to sell uranium is owned by a USA billionaire who is an arms trader and Asian consortium
      • as a country we will not sell uranium to countries who have not signed the Nuclear non proliferation agreement, but how do we control where this is used beyond the first buyer?
    • Sell mining leases which potentially erode our ability to feed ourselves, for example:
      • in the black oil plains of north western NSW, which is one of the most productive agricultural areas in the world, farmers are fighting their rights to farm land which has been held, nurtured and farmed for generations,
      • under the current land laws, land owned only own the top and metres below their soil,
      • miners have the rights to the explore underground and destroy the aquifers which nurture the soils and potentially decimate land which has nurtured this country for millennium,
      • we could become net importers of food from countries who do not have our Clean Green Environment,
      • these exploration rights have been sold for around $700 M by the NSW Government to BHP $400m) and a Chinese consortium ($300m)
        • this is a short term fix for long term massive loss of wealth to individual Australians and the nation
        • the cost to the country costs votes
  • Organisations such as the ACCC have been complicit in loss of ownership by limiting the organic growth and amalgamation of our businesses to stop “monopolies”, but allow foreign takeovers, which effectively mean we lose control of the assets, iconic brands and intellectual property which Australians have initiated, invested in and built.
  • Free Trade Agreements are signed that invariably lead to Australia losing out
    • our growers and producers are exposed to imports subsidized by foreign governments,
    • we risk contamination of our Clean Green environment,
    • have to compete with overseas’ workers substandard wages and conditions,
    • or see strategic industries subsidized here by our Government to survive cheap imports (car industry).
    • The level playing field has only been in the minds of the people signing the Free Trade Agreements.

AUSBUY has been warning Australians that we have been living on borrowed time. How will we pay back the burgeoning debt generated by Governments and foreign companies borrowing against our assets to buy our companies? (July 2009 – Near $700 billion foreign debt, plus $315 billion Government debt plus the debt of all States = over $1 trillion).

The answer

Refocus our attention on the long term sustainability of our natural resources and skilled workforce. Set strategies which encourage industries to be more productive and value add instead of selling off our minerals and agricultural products then buying them back hundreds of times more expensive as finished goods.

Who lends us this money?

We borrow to spend from the USA which sources it from the open market. Currently major western countries are borrowing to prop up their economies, which means that the interest on these borrowings will go up with this demand. Asia and the Middle East are active lenders. They will want to be paid back.  We might think we are operating in a level playing field, but by borrowing to suck in imports, or allowing foreign investors to buy our best companies in down times we are selling off our future. Ultimately cheap imported goods cost us more and also cost votes.

Japan has been recession for two decades yet is buying up our companies. USA companies are acquiring our land and export resources. We might say we are creating export dollars and opening our markets but the owners of our businesses and resources are selling to themselves.

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