Home' Border Enterprise : Summer-Autumn 2011-2012 Contents enterprise
Vol 5. Summer/Autumn
Liberal member for Indi, Sophie
Mirabella (above), has slammed Prime
Minister Gillard for her 'embarrassing
indifference' to manufacturing. ALABOR government plan to
increase pressure on major
project developers to give
Australian businesses a fairer
go has been welcomed by
unions as the first step to saving local jobs as
well as being a boom for the rising green sector.
Prime Minister Julia Gillard concluded
October's Future Jobs Forum, held behind
closed doors, by announcing major projects
worth more than $2 billion would have
to make public extensive details on what
opportunities were open to Australian
businesses, in order to qualify for a 5 per cent
tariff exemption on imported goods.
The Australian Workers Union and the
Australian Manufacturers Workers Union
have been calling on the government to
implement such a policy, hoping to name
and shame companies that ignored local
Since 2010, companies bidding for
government contracts have to show how
local businesses could be involved. Ms Gillard
said this would be extended to government
grants of $20 million, including those going to
Government and unions believe the strategy
will give struggling sectors, particularly
manufacturing, a boost.
''If you want Australian taxpayer dollars
then you are going to have to give Australian
businesses a fair chance,'' Ms Gillard said.
''While the government does not support ...
mandatory minimum local content obligations,
we do want to ensure local suppliers have
an opportunity to compete on level terms in
bidding for government-supported projects.''
She said the proposed changes would be
made in next year's budget.
Ms Gillard also announced she will chair
a taskforce on manufacturing to discuss
education, innovation, and how to deal with
the high terms of trade.
AMWU national secretary Dave Oliver said
green manufacturing jobs were more likely to
stay in Australia than shift overseas under the
plan to apply the local content rules to grants
of more than $20 million.
''We've said for a long time that there are
great opportunities in clean energy ... we
just don't want to be sending these jobs
overseas,'' Mr Oliver said.
In selling its controversial carbon tax, the
Labor government has argued that green
technology is vital to Australia's economic
future and will be a strong job creator.
The union, however, has feared the
government's fund for green investment may
simply create manufacturing jobs overseas.
Under the plan, large grants funded by the
$10 billion Clean Energy Finance Corporation
would be included in the local content
rules. Meg McDonald, chief executive of
government body Low Carbon Australia, said
the green sector would provide a boost to
ACTU national secretary Ged Kearney
welcomed the plan but said there was still
more to be done for workers, particularly in
regard to job security.
''We also need to consider the challenges
facing other sectors, particularly the services,
tourism, retail and textile, clothing and
footwear industries, where insecure work is
largely prevalent,'' she said.
Coalition industry spokeswoman, Liberal
member for Indi Sophie Mirabella, claimed Ms
Gillard had an ''embarrassing indifference''
to manufacturing and that the taskforce was
belated and that its recommendations would
simply gather dust.
PM promises boom
for local business
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