FAQs Facts to Surprise You

  • Times Are Tough But by Working Together There is Hope for the Future

Australian commerce is in serious trouble. This is an inevitable situation for any person, company or country, which continually spends more than they earn. For over 25 years Australia has earned less than it has spent in relation to the rest of the world.

The balancing item for Australia’s increasing debt is more and more foreign ownership of our key industries. If we don’t fix our trading losses, we can’t stop foreign owned companies from buying our best resources. The current global economic climate has further exacerbated the problem as we have a "for sale" sign on many of our wealth creating assets.

Ownership does matter because over 80% of our trading losses relate to interest, dividends, etc taken out of our business by foreign owned companies before tax.

It is only when Australians en masse change their spending habits, that our bureaucrats and politicians will follow our lead. Thus, we can only secure jobs for our children by firstly changing our own purchasing attitudes and behaviour.

Australian owned companies need our support, simply because if we as Australian’s don’t support them nobody else will.

Did You Know?

If every Australian changed from buying foreign owned to Australian owned we would reduce our current account deficit by $50 billion.

How does this work?

19.23 million Australians at $50 per week = $50 billion. For example, if you buy a bottle of Perrier mineral water at least 85% of the cost will end up overseas, with a small amount staying for the Australian labour required to get the product to the cash register. If Australian mineral water is bought, then it will be Australian water, Australian bottle, Australian labour, Australian profits with almost all the money staying in Australia.

Just imagine the difference governments at all levels could make if they required that Australian owned companies are given priority for tenders.Currently there are no such requirements. Often the specifications for tenders are sourced from foreign companies, which locks local businesses out. This happens at all levels of government. We may or may not get jobs here but the decisions, profits and reinvestment do not necessarily stay here. This is tax payer revenue or borrowed money governments are spending without discrimination.

It is the little things that can make a difference. And when the big things are poorly applied or managed the implicationa can be profound on our local businesses.

Creating Jobs – Investing in Australians

The accepted figure used by the Government sponsored ISO offices is that for every $1 million of orders placed in Australia, 30 full time jobs are created, this rate is conservative. Example, if an engineering business in a town gets a contract for $1 million of work then much of the wages paid to the staff will be spent in the town, thus creating other jobs. This is called the multiplier effect.
Using this conservative rate of $1 million of Australian purchases creates 30 full time jobs, then $1 billion creates 30,000 full time jobs. The money saved of $28 billion at 30,000 jobs per $1 billion means we create 840,000 new full-time jobs, but let’s say conservatively 500,000.

How many jobs do we create when we spend on imported goods? Answer: The sales person and the business owner.

Ownership of Australia

Over at least the last decade all Governments have funded growth and employment by selling off the country. Clearly the only foreign investment that should be allowed is that which is in Australia’s national interest. It should be investment which is added to our wealth, not just the takeover of existing businesses.

Australia has the largest per household foreign debt in the western world. The sell-off of our companies and our land must stop. This is not in the national interest!

Foreign Debt Fewer Jobs

“I believe we’ve got to stop just being passive observers of this growing problem. We have to take action and get involved in bringing about a solution to the problem. If we don’t get our foreign debt under control, we might as well accept that we will become a branch office country with the skilled jobs, like IT, being sourced overseas.”  -  John Pym

Aussie, Aussie, Aussie

“Are you a proud Australian? Do you support the green and gold?
Want to keep Australia strong and stop it being sold, give our kids a heritage of which they can be proud. Help our farmers come back from underneath a cloud. When you take your trolley out to do your weekly shop, look around for labels with the AUSBUY logo and use the AUSBUY Guide as your shopping bible.”
  - Bob Carruthers

How Governments Make Decisions

“Mr Obama says he is President of the USA not President of the world so his Government will favour US businesses when it spends. Our Governments buy the cheapest price without considering that taxpayers dollars are supporting foreign jobs not our own. They do not give Australian owned businesses the chance to meet the price of foreign competition.

“The NSW Treasurer says he will support Australian businesses even if they cost 20% more. Doesn’t he realise they know how to operate in a competitive environment and would not be in business if they cost 20% more. Cheap prices cost us jobs and governments votes” - Sam Richards.


The current labelling laws are not disciplined and policed sufficiently to make it easy for consumers.

What labels mean

    • If it carries the AUSBUY logo you are guaranteed the company is majority Australian owned and the decisions, jobs and profits, skills and investment stay here.
  • Made in Australia
    • The product was substantially transformed here,
    • More than 50% of the wholesale cost was here – these may include imported ingredients and components manufactured here or elsewhere and does not indicate Australian owned,
    • Not a guarantee the decisions and profits stay here.
  • Product of Australia
    • The product was made here and the ingredients sourced here.
    • From local and imported ingredients – the majority of the ingredients were sourced locally,
    • From imported and local ingredients – the majority of the ingredients were imported,
  • Australian Owned
    • More than 50% of the company is Australian owned.
    • Only the AUSBUY logo is your guarantee that this company is Australian owned and the decisions, profits, jobs, skills and  stay here.
    • However the company may import all its goods with few jobs generated here.
    • AUSBUY members which are Australian owned and do not manufacture are usually service businesses which retain intellectual property and skills here. If they sell goods they support Australian owned suppliers and may import some goods which are no longer made here because of government policy to downgrade our manufacturing in favour of foreigm imports.


Do you want to buy Australian owned and made, but find the labels are confusing? To our cost as a country, currently we have not identified a consistent labeling in Australia that promotes Australian owned and made goods and services. While we want to do the right thing by Australia, our labeling laws do not give us a “fair go”.

Labels should reflect the true source of the goods and services we buy. Despite the Senate enquiry into Truth in Labelling in late 2009 nothing has been done to discipline labels. Country of origin is not mandatory so many foods and products can say made in Australia when the bulk of the components are cheap imports, subsidised by their governments and which do not meet the standards required of our producers.

The AUSBUY logo is the only guarantee that the company is majority controlled in Australian and that means the decisions are made here, taxes are paid here, profits are reinvested here and jobs and skills stay here.

Deceptive Labelling Which Takes Advantage of the Australian People's Desire to Support Our Own

Foreign Company Tricks

Foreign Companies will display the map of Australia, the Australian flag, a kangaroo, koala, a swagman, anything that is uniquely Australian to get you to believe that the product you are buying is Australian owned when it isn’t. This is deceptive labelling.

The following companies are FOREIGN owned although they may be partly Australian made.

  • Tip Top Bread - map of Australian on packaging – UK
  • Kirks Soft Drinks - Australian Since 1864 – Coca Cola - USA
  • Billy Tea - features a swagman and says Australian Favourite Tea –Imported from Malaysia by Unilever Owned UK
  • Dairy Farmers – still saying owned and made although taken over in 2008  – Japan
  • Golden Circle – still saying owned and made although taken over in 2009 by Heinz - USA
  • Lactose Cheeses - Australian flag on packaging - France
  • Uncle Toby’s Since 1893 – Nestle - Switzerland
  • Swan Lager - West Australian emblem - Japan
  • Kangaroo Matches - kangaroo printed - Sweden
  • Koala Matches - koala printed - Indonesia
  • Heinz Products - map of Australia in circle - USA
  • Safcol Tuna - “South Australian born & bred” – Malaysia

Where does your money go?

Nine out of every dollar you spend in the supermarket is foreign owned, although this was not always so. AUSBUY is very concerned as foreign owned companies imply they are Australian through their advertising and branding, fooling consumers into believing they are investing their money back in to Australia.

AUSBUY has often asked the ACCC to investigate foreign companies making false claims to be Australian on their packaging and signage. The ACCC has never considered this an important issue and has ignored AUSBUY’s pleas to put a stop to this practice. Almost every week we read ACCC reports outlining their terms to small Australian owned companies. Yet on this important issue of foreign companies trying to sell themselves as Australian, the ACCC fails to act.

Isn’t Australian Made good enough?

Foreign owned companies do create jobs for tax paying Australian’s, but their profits go overseas. There is a better alternative and that is Australian owned and made. Let’s create jobs for Australians while keeping the decisions and profits in Australia.

Who do we complain to when we see misleading claims or advertising?

The correct organisation is the ACCC (Australian Competition and Consumer Commission). Address and email or write to your local Federal representative.

Why do some Australians think that local products are more expensive and not as good a Quality of Imports?

What people want?

Market researchers know that when people buy products and services they look for quality, value for money, competitive pricing, readily available or accessible and provenance. When all other things are equal provenance is the deciding factor. Provenance is reflected in reliable brands. AUSBUY’s provenance is long established, dating from 1991, and has been consistent about majority owned and made here.

AUSBUY Corporate members:

  • source the majority of components or ingredients here,
  • make decisions here,
  • keep profits here,
  • pay taxes here,
  • create jobs here,
  • keep skills here,
  • reinvest here.

What we found when we did a competitive pricing shop?

AUSBUY undertook research in the Supermarkets in 2009 and updates these findings regularly. We compared branded AUSBUY products with their branded foreign competitors in Woolworths and Coles stores. Our findings might surprise you. We found not only were they cheaper,

  • they were better value – more weight than foreign competitors
  • better quality  - used less additives and preservatives – e.g. pure milk not stabilisers
  • more innovative then the foreign competitors – offered a range of goods and flavours not just the same ones sold around the world and sourced where the standards are not the same as here.

Why are some Australian products not the cheapest?

Some items which are not branded or house brands may be cheaper, but the either the quality is not as good or the products are oversupply from other countries which are sold here to erode our owned supply chain.

This practice may involve dumping which is very hard to prove. An Australian company or group of growers may have to compete with cheap foreign imports which are funded by their governments or specifically targeted to erode Australian suppliers markets. Dumping laws apply like criminal law – the victim has to prove the perpetrator is guilty. A recent case highlighted how we manage this process. A country exported timber to Australia and Canada. In both countries dumping cases where pursued by the local businesses, as the dumped product was coming from native forests. Canada and Australia grow plantation timbers sustainably. Even though the Australian company won the dumping case the imported timbers continued to be dumped here. However Canada placed a 36% levy on the imports because of the impact they had on local growers. It is in the failure to apply the law that disheartens Australian businesses. In this case this failure impedes and exposes good Australian companies. It is not a level playing field and is certainly applied to disadvantage Australian companies.

The same issue applies in other industries in the manufacturing sector where countries have oversupply and have a lifestyle product suited to our market place. Recreational vehicles are an example where our manufacturers have to meet Australian standards and create jobs here yet some imports do not meet our standards. This puts our lives at risk and our skilled jobs are threatened.

Who are AUSBUY Members?

While the media and our leaders are intent on painting a gloomy picture, we are forgetting that there are thousands of successful Australian owned businesses which need our support. AUSBUY’s Corporate membership represents large diverse conglomerates to one person operations, all making a contribution to this country. They not only produce goods, but also services or run cooperative businesses. They are about business to consumer and business to business activities. In these difficult times we will be called upon to harness that capacity of thinking about others even more. Many AUSBUY Corporate members started as family owned businesses or co-operatives  that is why their provenance runs deep into the communities in which they operate and service. It is not just about them, it is about other Australians. It is about their future and that of future generations of Australians.

Why do we need to ensure that the decisions, the profits and the jobs stay here?

With 42% of all Australians receiving some government benefit, 83% of our government bonds foreign owned and the "for sale" sign on our assets, foreign debt and government debt is growing and is around $1,400B, the only way we can sustain our owned companies and invigorate our economy is by creating opportunities here to employ people here in productive jobs.

How is wealth created to advantage more than a few?

Only Australian businesses create wealth when we use the multiplier effect.

In the race to support the global village we had forgotten about the Australian village. You do not have to be an economist to appreciate how past generations knew that you did not spend more than you earned. Words like productivity and value adding have gone from our lexicon as we rushed to export raw materials, and buy them back a thousand fold more valuable as imported goods.

They also knew about investing in the future, taking risks and creating jobs. it’s simple if we invest $1M and you create 30 jobs. It is not that 30 people received $30k each, but rather that they are productive and create more than $2 or more dollars for every $1 invested.  Invest $100M and 3,000 jobs are created.

Others recognise us as a clever, innovative and productive country, but we have failed to recognise our own unique attributes, If we were a business we would have a clear vision of what we need to do and how to operate in a competitive environment, but vision is lost in the melee of opinions by people who have never been in business and foreign interference.

AUSBUY wants all Australians to be better informed about what is happening. The better informed you are the more empowered you become to make decisions about where you spend your dollars and assure your future.


  • You can have your say - go to Time to Wake Up on the home page and complete the petitions and surveys.
  • Become a Friend of AUSBUY
  • Introduce us to Australian owned companies
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