Today at 1:15pm
Corner Bender Drive and Derwent Park Road, Hobart
The Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union will meet with shipbuilding workers today to discuss the future of Tasmanian Shipbuilding.
The meeting comes off the back of an announcement last week that Incat had been successful in it’s bid to build six new ferries for the Sydney Harbour fleet.
“Last week’s announcement shows that Tasmanian shipbuilding is world class and well positioned for growth,” said AMWU Tasmanian Secretary, John Short.
Tasmanian shipbuilders are hoping to leverage off the announcement of the Sydney Ferries contract to win the upcoming tender for 21 Pacific Patrol boats for the Australian navy worth $600 million dollars.
“Tasmania has a real shot at the Pacific Patrol boats, particularly if the Federal Government is willing to commit to a local build,” said Mr Short.
“A strong shipbuilding sector is the shot in the arm that Tasmania needs as the sluggish economy suffers from high unemployment and low consumer confidence. For every job we create in manufacturing, we create another four in the rest of the economy.”
“We are keen to work with industry to improve skills and productivity. We want to give Tasmania a real chance at this project,” he said.
The AMWU has called on the Tasmanian Government to do more on behalf of the industry.
“The Western Australian and South Australian Governments are lobbying hard for their industry,” said Mr Short.
“But so far, the Tasmanian Government has not lifted a finger to help. We need them out lobbying for our industry,” he said.
The Pacific Patrol Boats contract currently has significant interest from shipbuilders in other states including South Australia, Victoria, New South Wales, and Queensland.
“A competitive Tasmanian shipbuilding sector is not just good for Tasmania, it’s good for the country. It’s going to force everyone to lift their game and ensure a strong industry going forward,” said Glenn Thompson, AMWU Assistant National Secretary.
Union leaders will meet today with workers at Incat to discuss the future of the industry and how they will work together to secure future contracts.