Tenders released by BHP Billiton have confirmed up to 20,000 tonnes of manufacturing and fabrication work for its South Flank Iron Ore project in the Pilbara has been awarded to a Chinese based company.
It comes just weeks after the Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union WA (AMWU) wrote an open letter to BHP CEO Andrew McKenzie calling for the mining giant to release details of exactly how many tonnes of fabrication work would be done in WA and how many thousand tonnes would be sent offshore.
AMWU WA State Secretary Steve McCartney said BHP documents on the Industry Capability Network of Western Australia confirm that Tianjin BOMESC Offshore Engineering Company based in Tianjin China will receive 20,000 tonnes of manufacturing and fabrication work.
“The deal for WA is worse than the union and State Government had originally feared,” he said.
“The Premier made it perfectly clear in his first speech to the Chamber of Minerals and Energy in April 2017 that multinational mining companies needed to prioritise local content and local jobs.
“BHP’s commitment to offshoring thousands upon thousands of tonnes of manufacturing work is a galling rejection of the Premier’s demand.
“Instead of supporting WA industry, apprentices and jobs – BHP has sent opportunities offshore. This company profits off our finite one-off resource and without upstream manufacturing we will get nothing back.
“Sending this manufacturing work offshore means that the next generation of tradespeople and workers will miss out on training opportunities and apprenticeships. Suburbs close to our fabrication and manufacturing hub in Henderson have some of the highest youth unemployment in the country.
“BHP has thumbed its nose at Western Australians and the State Government. It’s disgraceful that BHP would hide the truth from the Premier and the people of WA about prioritising WA jobs and local content,” Mr McCartney said.