The biennial National Conference of the CFMEU Forestry, Furnishing and Paper Products Division was concluded last week, wrapping up in Hobart with the resolution to compel the Federal Government to further enact policies which will protect and create jobs in the Australian manufacturing industry, according to a press release.Michael O’Connor, National Secretary of the CFMEU, has welcomed the Gillard Government’s recent Industry and Innovation Statement entitled ‘A Plan for Australian Jobs’, acknowledging it as a good first step on “the long road to strengthening and creating a vibrant and job-rich Australian manufacturing industry.”
“Our Union however has decided at the conference this week that as part of our ‘Let’s Spread It Around’ campaign,we would push hard across Australia for further commitments from policy and decision makers in the lead up to the 2013 Federal election,” says Mr. O’Connor.
“The Anti-Dumping Commission, innovation precincts and the Australian Industry Participation Plan policies from the Government represent real movement, but other issues, including vital recommendations made in the Prime Minister’s Manufacturing Taskforce Non-Government Members’ report remain outstanding.
The Non-Government Member’s report endorses minimum local content requirements for projects funded by taxes.
O’Connor also said that their Union will be forging a similar route through a protest action like the one they implemented on Hobart this week, to hold accountable those who receive project money from the government, and advocate for regulatory changes that will support jobs in the country.
The CFMEU national conference also resolved to compel the Government to enact plans that will attract investment in the environment and social community infrastructures to improve the living conditions in mining communities. They also want the competitive advantage of imports that do not meet Australian standards to be addressed.
The Union has likewise resolved to keep up the pressure on the Government to commission an independent inquiry into the establishment of a sovereign wealth fund, according to the press release.
“Whilst the reforms announced at the start of this week will be welcomed by Australian workers, the high Australian dollar remains the elephant in the room. The issue needs to be considered from all angles by the Government, to give business and workers in the manufacturing industry confidence that their concerns are being taken seriously,” said Mr O’Connor.