Unions Support Billion-Dollar Plan For Manufacturing

The Gillard Government’s $1 billion plan to support Australian manufacturing will keep jobs in Australia and create new opportunities for Australian manufacturers, the ACTU said today.

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ACTU secretary Dave Oliver said new laws requiring developers of projects valued at over $500 million to allow Australian firms to bid for contracts were a welcome step towards creating a level playing-field for Australian businesses and workers.

“We need to make sure that the benefits of major projects being built in Australia flow through to Australian manufacturers and businesses,” Mr Oliver said.

“It has long been a concern of the union movement that major resource and infrastructure projects do not even look at what they could source locally.

“This will be the first time that the responsibility of major project developers to consider local companies will be written into law.

“Ensuring that Australian companies get a chance to bid for contracts on projects worth over $500 million will keep jobs in this country.”

The Government also plans to establish 10 innovation precincts around Australia by 2014, starting with a manufacturing precinct based in southeast Melbourne and Adelaide.

“These precincts are a great example of what we need to do to have a thriving high-value manufacturing sector in Australia,” Mr Oliver said.

“We need to have employers, workers, researchers and government working together to ensure that Australia continues to have a high-value manufacturing sector, that can take advantage of growing markets in Asia.”