Yesterday Premier Colin Barnett effectively discarded jobs in WA’s manufacturing industry, declaring his concern for scientific and engineering jobs from the resources boom while completely ignoring a pressured manufacturing industry in Western Australia.
Mr Barnett said yesterday at the World Energy Cities Partnership Conference that ‘higher skilled work that I think the concern really is about… depends on those leading scientists, geophysicists, engineers, technicians, designers working here and working on projects in WA’
‘The Premier has thrown the West Australian manufacturing industry jobs into the bin with his claim yesterday that the jobs of greatest concern from the resource boom are the scientists, geophysics, engineers and designers. What about the welders, boilermakers, fitters, riggers and apprentices?’ Australian Manufacturing Workers Union State Secretary Steve McCartney said today.
‘According to Industry statistics, manufacturing jobs in five West Australian manufacturing workshops have dropped from 963 Tradespeople and Apprentices in 2008 to 460 in 2010.’
‘This is after the Premier was quoted in the Financial Review as saying that West Australian workshops would be full from the resources boom’
‘If the Premier's claims of 85-90% local content from mining and 50-60% local content from oil and gas projects is anything close to being true. Why is the industry shredding staff because a lack of work?’ Steve McCartney said today.
‘We estimate that in the past five years the steel fabricated in Australia for resource projects has dropped from approximately 55,000 tons to 24,000 tons while at the same time the steel needed for the same projects has risen from 60,000 to 316,000 tons.’
‘This represents a pathetic 8% of the manufacturing work that was done in Australia last year, far different to Premier Barnett’s fantasy estimates of 85-90% and 50-60% local content.’
“We need to keep the benefits of Australian resources in Australian hands and not lose these jobs overseas”