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The Buy Queensland strategy – breaking international trade deals?

Giovanni Di Lieto writes in The Conversation (16.8.17) that the Palaszczuk Government’s proposed ‘Buy Queensland first’ strategy has questionable economic logic, and also explicitly contravenes a number of Australia’s international trade obligations.

‘The Queensland government’s new controversial procurement strategy stacks the deck of public tenders against interstate and international suppliers, and is illegitimate under Australia’s free trade agreements.

‘The strategy, Buy Queensland, is set to start next month. It will apply to all public agencies, statutory bodies and government-owned corporations that purchase goods and services, commission major projects and infrastructure, or build schools, housing and other community facilities.

‘Every year the Queensland government spends more than A$14 billion on essential goods and services, on top of a further A$4 billion of capital expenditure used to build and maintain infrastructure assets such as roads, schools and hospitals. So these tenders are worth a lot to any business.

‘The strategy has questionable economic logic, as it limits the competition for public tenders, likely pushing government expenditure up without substantial modelling that proves superior returns for the local job market.’

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