Paul Bastian, National Secretary of the Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union, has acknowledged the contribution of everyone that supported the Australian manufacturing industry, which helped lead to the creation of the Federal Government’s Industry and Innovation Statement.
In a letter to supporters, Mr. Bastian said, “Thanks to you and many like you who are prepared to take action, the challenges confronting Australian manufacturing have been given policy recognition.”
“We’ve been campaigning hard for a plan to get work back in our factories, to get a long term plan for manufacturing. Now the government has responded.”
Bastian called ‘A Plan for Australian Jobs’ a ‘smart policy’ that is committed and serious about facing the challenges of the Australian manufacturing industry.
‘A Plan for Australian Jobs’ adopts ‘some of the world’s best practices’ he said.
The plan, which was announced last Sunday, has three key elements:
• Backing Australian industry to win more work at home;
• Supporting Australian industry to win new business abroad; and
• Helping Australian small and medium businesses to grow and create new jobs.
He highlights the most essential parts of the plan, which include a new national government body, will ensure that big projects will be using Australian made where they can. In the same light the plan will expose and name the companies who do not buy Australian.
For example, big mining projects are currently using less than 10 per cent Australian made steel while fabrications shops lay idle, according to Bastian.
The government is also improving the collaboration between research and science which is essential to smarter manufacturing.
“Australians are smart people and we make things well, and research, innovation and manufacturing will create smarter industries for the future,” he stated.
He also commended the Government’s dedication to the car industry by committing $5.4 billion for the future.
However, Bastian stresses that there is still more to do to make sure the industry controls the loss of jobs and skills. Political parties should stand up for manufacturing he said.
“By working together, the AMWU will continue to stand up for manufacturing jobs no matter what.”