BAILLIEU MUST ACT NOW OR RISK MASSIVE JOB LOSSES

Posted on 22. Jun, 2011 in News

The Baillieu Government must act now and rule out adopting recommendations to drop local content procurement requirements and end strategic financial support for manufacturers, the Shadow Industry Minister, Tim Holding, said today.

Mr Holding said the Victorian Competition and Efficiency Commission today released a draft reportinto Victoria’s manufacturing industry commissioned by the Baillieu Government.

“This report’s recommendations to end strategic financial assistance and undermine local content will drive a stake through the heart of Victorian manufacturing,” Mr Holding said.

“At a time when Victorian manufacturers are under huge pressure from low cost locations, like China, and a high Australian dollar, this report would effectively end significant local content on major contracts.

“This will inevitably cost Victorian jobs and hit regions that depend on manufacturing.

“After a Budget that lacked a jobs plan, it is worrying to now see that the Government has commissioned a report that has a jobs plan for China.”

The Shadow Minister for Manufacturing, Adam Somyurek, said Mr Baillieu must act today to rule out adopting this harsh recommendation from one of its key economic advisors.

“If he doesn’t, we risk manufacturers and other businesses across the State starting to rethink, or put on hold, decisions to invest in our State,” Mr Somyurek said.

He said dropping local content provisions in State Government procurement would drive investment away from this State and put at risk thousands of local jobs.

“The only workers celebrating today are workers in China and Thailand,” he said.

“Victorian workers across the State – especially in regional and rural communities – will be crushed by this report’s recommendation as they know their jobs depend on local companies getting local work from big Government infrastructure projects.”

Mr Somyurek said the former Labor Government was proud of its support for local manufacturing and local jobs – and had strengthened local content requirements within Victoria’s Industry Participation Policy with the backing of local industry and unions.

Between 2001 and 2010, VIPP was applied to 1405 projects valued at more than $27 billion supporting more than 27200 new Victorian jobs.

Labor achieved an average local content level of about 85.7 per cent on these projects and a total $618 million of import replacement.

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