The Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union NSW & ACT (AMWU) calls on the NSW government to end the offshoring of transport infrastructure projects, with a new report showing the local economy would have benefited to the tune of almost half a billion dollars if important recent contracts were awarded to local firms.
The report from the McKell Institute, “Build it Here,” released today, looked at recent government transport purchases and found that if the wider economic benefits of local manufacturing had been considered, four of the six transport projects analysed would likely have been built in Australia.
If they were made locally, these projects would have generated an estimated 4,192 direct and indirect jobs, mostly in manufacturing, and more than $484 million in payroll and income tax collections.
Instead, we’ve got ferries from China and Indonesia, buses from Germany assembled in Malaysia, trains from South Korea and light rail vehicles from France and Spain. Many of these projects have been riddled with defects, causing rollout delays and cost blowouts.
The AMWU has been pushing the Berejiklian government to invest in the skilled workers of our local manufacturing sector by building things here.
Instead, last year we were told by the Premier, “Australia and New South Wales are not good at building trains, that's why we have to purchase them.”
Now that it’s clear the supposed economic justifications don’t line up, the government must follow the lead of other states and embrace strong local content requirements for large infrastructure and transportation projects.
Quotes attributable to Cory Wright – State Secretary, AMWU NSW & ACT
“If this government is serious about supporting local manufacturing and NSW workers it must end offshoring and commit to local procurement on infrastructure projects. We urgently need to review and revise the state government’s procurement process to put these broader economic and social benefits at the heart of the procurement system.”
“When we build locally, we not only get a quality product, we create secure jobs and training opportunities for the next generation of apprentices. These benefits flow on to the wider community.”
“The union has known all along that it’s workers and communities who lose out when contracts are sent offshore, and now we have some clear proof. The only winners are the big corporations who get these contracts.”
Media contact: Sophia Morris – [email protected] or 0400 889 166