Government should support local manufacturing jobs: Greens MP

Thursday, 2nd August 2018

The Greens (WA) spokesperson for mining, Robin Chapple MLC, has called for a review of WAs capacity to produce steel for international markets in the wake of a decision to move manufacturing jobs offshore by BHP.

Calling on Pilbara Labor MP Kevin Michel to address local concerns over manufacturing jobs, Mr Chapple argued that an inquiry into the viability of steel manufacturing should be conducted to protect WA jobs in regional areas.

“While there is certainly a need to maintain the viability of producing steel for companies like BHP, good jobs are increasingly hard to come by in regional areas, particularly in the manufacturing sector.

“The silence from the local Labor MP has been deafening, particularly when he has been keen to talk about local jobs in the past. There are 20,000 tonnes of structural steel work being sent offshore and so far we have had no commentary from the Labor Party, or any other party for that matter.

“The Greens want to see local jobs for regional communities, jobs for young people and others searching for work.

“According to the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union, around 2000 jobs could be sent offshore, jobs that could be filled by West Australians.

“It is certainly worrying that we have heard no update from the local Labor member, so we are eagerly awaiting some sort of response to this issue.

“There is huge potential in the lithium industry for WA, and ideally this will result in downstream manufacturing as well – something that has been lacking in the existing iron ore industry.

“The State Government may well be about to preside over a boom in lithium mining and the potential for battery production so their response to this decision to offshore manufacturing job is indicative of how our burgeoning lithium industry will be handled.

“The Greens would welcome additional manufacturing jobs for WA.”

Media contact: Liam Carter – 0449 151 490





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