Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Buy Australian

Good luck with that if you want a new car.  Car manufacturing is highly automated and so labour costs should not be too high, yet it seems it is not a viable business in Australia. Australian car manufacturing has completely closed down. 

Our supermarkets promote their Australian grown vegetables, fish, fruit and meat. This is mostly a good thing. We generally do it better, cleaner and greener than other countries and there is very little that can't be grown here, although we seem to import many tonnes of canned tomatoes from Italy, along with oranges grown in California whereas our orange harvests are often just dumped to rot.

To steal from Hecla, buy Australian. It's good. 

With thanks to our Aussie friend Wombat in northern Japan, buy Australian is not new.

The sign sounds racist but not really. That's not to say Australia wasn't terribly racist then. The "Australian Made Preference League Exhibition Touring Train" visited all corners of New South Wales. Buy Australian, Preference Australian made. 

The steam engine towed twenty carriages each with a letter on on them making up Buy Australian, the last two carriages being sleeper cars for staff. 

There was a very posh dining car attached to the train and local dignitaries wherever the train stopped were invited onboard for dinner before or after grand speeches. 

Onboard generators powered the internal electrics and sweeping searchlight type fittings to attract night time attention. 

Most days a lecturer left the train and visited local schools to impress upon students the importance of buying Australian. 

There were some fabulously lavish and beautiful art work advertising on the train., some of which advertised Nestle products? Yes, Australian made but not where the profits ended up. Get your Jusfrute made with fruit from Gosford, New South Wales.

Ultimately it could be judged as a propaganda train. So what happened to the Buy Australian train? The Great Depression of the late 1920s/30s killed  it. 

29 comments:

  1. A big hooray for Australian foodstuffs. Not only the fresh - though sadly we often import ingredients and 'make' things here.

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    1. EC, yes, Made from local and imported ingredients. To be fair, with many products the overseas addition can be minor.

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  2. it great information that your food is healthy

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    1. Gosia, we just need to eat more healthy food.

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  3. I found that whole Buy Australian train fascinating. What an enormous expensive promotion.

    PS was the train actually white in colour? or is this offensive?

    XO
    WWW

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    1. WWW, as by the second photo, the train does seem to be white. I doubt there was a racial connection because we didn't really have a lot of non white people then, aside from our indigenous.

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  4. It is a crying shame that our fruit, including oranges, is dumped and we import stuff from overseas instead.
    Shame, shame, shame, quoting you know who. As for Australian grown, who owns the farms? Australians? Or Chinese?
    What about Made In Australia? What exactly IS made in Australia these days? I remember working for Clarks shoes, making the mens Hush Puppies, when I began they were fully Australian made, but within that time frame, it became cheaper to source soles from overseas, until by the end, the only claim to "made in Australia" was putting together the components to create the shoe. Cars, furniture, whitegoods, clothing, not much at all is Australian made. Because wages are cheaper in third world countries, so those much higher up can make far more profits. It's all $$$$, no sense.

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    1. River, you cover many things. Quoting our neighbour, hey. I am fairly sure Italian tomatoes are dumped here below production costs. We know about Chinese ownership of farms here and why has it been allowed? I am quite against foreign ownership of our land, starting with and still including Britain. Clarks was so Australian and how disappointing to hear the history through your experience. But maybe we can't compete with shoes, but surely we can with anything highly automated with low labour costs.

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    1. I think we should all buy locally made products, but the Chinese see things differently. They want us to buy everything Chinese made.

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    2. Cro, and to think we used to criticise anything Japanese made, now seen as high quality.

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  6. Imported food some times the list seems to be endless, grapes will soon be available from the US if the supermarkets can get them at their price. Pork used to come from Canada but not sure if so now. Our wages seem to be too high in many cases for so many products and produce.

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    1. Margaret, at lest the supermarkets seem to be transparent about where their fresh products come from. Certainly in my state now, I think pork is locally grown. We do have quite a lot of workers here who work for little illegally.

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  7. Poster art was so glamourous in that era. It must have been hard for whatever was being promoted to live up to the art.

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    1. Kirk, yes thinking about my saved travel posters, the experience would never match the posters.

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  8. Long distance train trips, complete with dining room, bar and bunk bedrooms, are such great fun. Your photo of the dining car is very attractive although I am not sure what the White in Great White Train refers to. That was worrying after WW1 :(

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    1. Hels, I recently watched a video of someone take the Overalnd? to Adelaide. While only matching car travel time, it looked wonderful. I really think the train was painted white to attract attention with any connotation.

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  9. Bill gets annoyed with me in the supermarket because I examine every product to see where it is made always hoping to find Australian made or grown. It's not easy. No orange juice, all made with concentrate from overseas.

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    1. Good on you Diane. I don't mind paying a bit more for for locally grown but so many of companies are not Australian owned. It is truly terribly about orange juice as ours go to waste, but now perhaps been replaced by almond trees.

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  10. Food is most likely to be local, but if we want fresh asparagus 12 months out of the year, it has to be shipped. Citrus became a world commodity, with production going to the lowest cost semi-tropical climates. Most of the citrus groves in Florida are now housing developments. California has survived in fresh citrus, largely because of a low cost latin American labor force that some idiot tried to build a wall to limit. Cars, I live in the USA, one car made in Japan, one in Portugal (a VW,) and one in Germany. Unless you want a truck, it is hard to buy an American made car.

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    1. TP, like Australia, you have such a varied climate that you can grow it all within your country surely. Very interesting about low cost labour in California, but isn't generally such labour costs low anyway, the minimum wage? I think we import your trucks. What about a Mustang? Or one of those stunning and threatening GM big car machines?

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  11. I always look to buy fruit and veg grown in Australia, it's a seasonal thing too, if blueberries aren't available at certain times of the year, I do without and change to an Oz fruit that is. Would have loved to take a trip on the very posh train Andrew 💛

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    1. Grace, much as we shop ourselves. It is nice to look forward to certain things coming into season. It would be a great train ride.

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  12. Interesting old signs Andrew. I do believe you should always support local business. It's a pity cars are no longer manufactured in Australia, and so many jobs were lost in that sector.

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    1. Sami, the train must have been quite an expensive undertaking. It seems wrong to me that we can't make cars here.

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  13. What an interesting campaign. I guess it's not dissimilar from movements to "Buy American" in the USA -- there was a lot of that when I was a kid. (And may still be.) It wasn't promoted with a train, though!

    I was curious about the "whiteness" of the train and did some looking around via Google. Apparently there is a connection between the train's color and racism, at least according to this author:

    https://www.academia.edu/34574438/_Buy_White_Stay_Fair_Racist_Political_Consumerism_in_Australian_History

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    1. Steve, I had a look at the paper and I really think too much was read into the white train. I am not saying the author was wrong, but overplayed it somewhat. Interesting though, thanks for the link.

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  14. All countries should be supporting their own economies. With or without trains!

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    1. Debby, yes where we can, we should.

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