The AMWU is calling on the Federal Government to ensure its $42 billion stimulus package will maximise the use of local workers and local content in any infrastructure projects.
National Secretary of the AMWU, Dave Oliver, said “The government’s stimulus plan is important to revitalising the economy. It will create much needed jobs, but only if the Government insists on using local workers and procures the materials it needs from local manufacturers.”
“The manufacturing sector in Australia is going through a very difficult time. Workers are at the front lines of the global financial crisis. Many are being adversely affected, with businesses closing or demanding workers take pay cuts or scheduling ‘down days’ with no pay.”
“The manufacturing sector needs a boost. One of the best ways the Government can do that is to insist that, where possible, local content is maximised in the improvement of our schools and the building of housing.”
Mr Oliver also praised the focus on insulating houses and the installation of solar hot water systems as part of the stimulus package, but said that the Government should have also included solar panels.
“We are way behind other advanced industrialised countries in this area and the community is impatient to see government action.
“Stimulating the economy and protecting the environment can actually complement each other,” said Mr Oliver.
Mr Oliver was also highly critical of Malcolm Turnbull’s declaration that the Opposition will vote against the package.
“Rejection of the package threatens workers’ jobs and is a short-sighted, ideological position.
“It is now up to the other parties and independents in the Senate to see sense and pass the legislation and allow the Government to begin the necessary action to fight the crisis.”