Paul Bastian on ABC News calling for a National Manufacturing
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
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
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
"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: