Water Journal : Water Journal April 2011
feature article feature articles 72 APRIL 2011 water Lobbying for Government Protection Companies like Tyco are lobbying governments to protect the water industry. Such protection has generally been anathema to governments of both political persuasions over the past three decades, but this is a unique situation, and Tyco and others are bound to prosecute their cases. As Mr Brady says, even a small preference in favour of local product in tender evaluation would be beneficial. The challenge is that all other things being equal, the application of preferences or other forms of protection cost Australian society. Money spent on a preference is money that might otherwise have been spent on education, transport or some other priority that society may value more. Even the application of a tax on an imported product -- if one were allowed under the trade agreements that Australia has entered into -- costs consumers, at least in theory, because there is less incentive for local manufacturers to be efficient. There is much evidence that the removal of trade barriers has benefited local manufacturers and producers as they have been forced to become more efficient or, where they could not, they have exited the market and capital and labour has shifted to other more productive parts of the economy. These arguments are usually made by those who would advocate a free market -- and the argument is a strong one. The observation is also made that a variety of industries suffer as the dollar falls or rises, and special account cannot be made for each industry affected. In the case of water supply equipment, companies that import product will be advantaged and may lose this advantage when the dollar falls. Even within the water industry then, there are winners and losers. Long-term Projection The industry is obliged, nevertheless, to look to its long-term security and viability. Those who may now be importing equipment will seek to source local product when the dollar's value is lower. If the local industry does not exist when this occurs, Australia will be dependent on imports and will pay a premium for this dependence, both financially and as a result of decreased flexibility in supply. As AWA's Chief Executive, Tom Mollenkopf, has said in his column this month (see page 4), AWA is seeking feedback on the severity of this problem and whether steps should be taken to address the issue. AWA looks forward to industry response, for there is no doubt that some of the impacts of the rising dollar will be acutely felt by particular companies, particularly in the manufacturing area. If Australia loses its capacity to manufacture water equipment or loses some of its skills and knowledge permanently, we will no doubt be the poorer for it. DICL PIPES, FITTINGS & VALVES FOR SALE O ered for sale as individual items or as bulk lots Fitzroy River Water (FRW) Rockhampton Queensland has an extensive variety of new and unused surplus water supply items for sale, including (valves, tapers, bends, tees, etc). Sizes: DN65, 80, 150, 200, 300, 375, 450, 500, 600 & 750 in PN16 & PN35. TECHNICAL ENQUIRES TO VIC HARBINSON Email | firstname.lastname@example.org Mobile | 0488 704 246 or Phone | 07 4936 8509 OFFERS TO FRANK MUNNICH Email | email@example.com Rockhampton Regional Council, P O Box 1860, Rockhampton QLD 4700 A full product list of items and photos can be viewed at URL: www.rockhamptonregion.qld.gov.au/pipesforsale If Australia loses its capacity to manufacture water equipment local industry will become dependent on overseas product.
Water Journal March 2011
Water Journal May 2011