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AMWU - Australian Manufacturing Workers' Union : AMWU launches campaign for a National Manufacturing Plan

09/13/2012 | 03:05am EDT


Paul Bastian on ABC News calling for a National Manufacturing Plan.

The AMWU this week launched a campaign for a National Manufacturing Plan which would stem the flow of job losses and ensure we have a high skilled, high wage, robust manufacturing industry for the future.

AMWU National Secretary Paul Bastian said that nearly 125,000 Australian jobs have been lost in manufacturing since the GFC and predictions suggest 85,000 more could be lost in the next 5 years unless action is taken now to get work back in our factories.

"Manufacturing is being squeezed by the high dollar, the continued fallout from the GFC, increased overseas competition, and lost productivity through a failure to invest in infrastructure, skills and to plan for the future," said Mr Bastian.

"Manufacturing employs nearly one million people directly and many more indirectly, but if we ignore it, it will go away."

The recent Prime Minister's Manufacturing Taskforce made a series of recommendations to bolster and secure Australia's manufacturing industry. A comprehensive National Manufacturing Plan would help to develop and implement those recommendations which would secure jobs, create new opportunities and skills and build a thriving industry into the future.

Mr Bastian said, "We need action now through more local content in government procurement, more infrastructure spending and bringing in a strong anti-dumping regime.

"Every $1 billion dollars invested in infrastructure creates and sustains 10,000 to 15,000 jobs. But unless local jobs and companies are considered to build and supply those infrastructure projects, we miss out on a significant opportunity.

"Likewise, Governments can play a larger role in supporting Australian jobs and manufacturing by choosing Australian made cars for their fleets, by building trains, buses, ships and submarines here, and ensuring local businesses get a fair go at supplying large private projects such as those in the mining sector."

"Longer term, we must build a smarter manufacturing industry through business to business collaboration, linking our science and research closer to industry, investing in innovation, building manufacturing centres, improving our leadership and management capabilities and empowering our workforce.

"We can be a high skilled, high pay industry, but it requires strategic planning and commitment by all parties and leadership by government.

"We can build a smarter manufacturing industry, which in turn will build a smarter Australia. That's very important for the economic prosperity of our nation. But we must act now before we lose that capacity.' said Mr. Bastian.

The AMWU is calling on the Australian public to support a National Plan which would:


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