Economists warn of Buy Qld ‘ laughing stock’
ECONOMISTS have told the State Government to start again on its “Buy Queensland” policy, saying it puts the state at risk of being a national laughing stock and could be used to appease unions and environmentalists.
The policy has also angered the Federal Government and led to claims that it could spark an international trade dispute with New Zealand.
Economist Nick Behrens said there were serious flaws with the policy.
Among them was that the new policy had a secondary agenda, through its ethical business agenda, to appease union and environmental interests, whereas it should be solely about efficiently buying goods and services, he said.
“The state’s procurement policy is not the place for achieving secondary agendas to appease union or environmental interests,” Mr Behrens said.
Economist Gene Tunny said the policy risked “turning Queensland into a national laughing stock”.
“The policy will make taxpayers worse off, through higher prices for goods and services purchased by the Government,” he said.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk told Parliament she would always put “Rockhampton ahead of Rotorua”. “We are going our own way. We will ignore restrictions that go against our interests,” she said.