BRENDAN O’CONNOR MP
SHADOW MINISTER FOR EMPLOYMENT AND INDUSTRY
TANYA PLIBERSEK MP
SHADOW MINISTER FOR EDUCATION AND TRAINING
CATHERINE KING MP
SHADOW MINISTER FOR INFRASTRUCTURE, TRANSPORT AND REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT
AMANDA RISHWORTH MP
SHADOW MINISTER FOR YOUTH
BUILD AUSTRALIA IN AUSTRALIA
It shouldn’t take a pandemic and soaring unemployment for the Morrison Government to start talking about the importance of Australian manufacturing. Now it’s time to match words with action.
It’s simple – Build it here. Create jobs. Train apprentices.
Sadly, we know attacking Australia’s manufacturing and training is in the Coalition’s DNA.
Yesterday the NSW Liberal Premier said “Australia and NSW are not good at building trains, that’s why we have to purchase them”.
This is a slight against millions of skilled Australian workers, and could not be further from the truth.
Newcastle workers built the Sydney’s iconic Tangara trains, which have formed the backbone of the city’s network since the 1980s.
Victorian workers in Ballarat, Bendigo, and Dandenong, build and maintain the newest additions to their state’s regional, metropolitan and tram networks.
Maryborough workers have built trains for Queenslanders for over 150 years.
And workers in Perth’s eastern suburbs are building the trains that will run on their city’s soon-to-be extended network.
The Morrison Government’s shows the same disregard for Australian manufacturing and Australian workers. They call on consumers to buy local, but refuse to take action to ensure that Australian Government funded projects maximise employment outcomes for Australian workers.
With 16.3 per cent of young Australians out of work and 140,000 fewer apprentices and trainees since the Coalition came to office there is no room for more excuses.
Under the Coalition, Newcastle has lost nearly 3,800 apprentices and trainees. Ballarat has lost more than 800, Bendigo more than 4,000, Dandenong more than 4,600, Maryborough more than 500, and Perth more than 2,000.
The Government should ensure all infrastructure projects include a provision for the compulsory employment of Australian apprentices.
Coming out of the recession, there are two sure-fire ways to generate economic growth: invest in infrastructure to lift capacity and boost productivity and invest in people through education and training.
There’s a simple way to do both – build Australia in Australia.
THURSDAY, 27 AUGUST 2020