MANUFACTURING AND RESOURCES SECTOR IMPORTANT FOR ROCKINGHAM AND KWINANA
A strong manufacturing industry in Australia is especially important for people living in Rockingham and Kwinana, local member of Federal Parliament Gray Gray said.
“Our community relies more on the manufacturing sector to provide jobs for local residents than many other areas around Australia,” Mr Gray said.
“The latest available Census statistics show more than 7,500 people who live locally are employed in manufacturing.
“Manufacturing accounts for 15 per cent of total employment in Rockingham and Kwinana, considerably higher than the Australia-wide average of 10.6 per cent, according to the Census data.
“This means the Gillard Government’s policies to support a dynamic, competitive and innovative manufacturing sector are important for local workers.
The Gillard Government’s policies to support manufacturing include:
· The $300 million Steel Transformation Plan which is supporting Australian steel-makers;
· The Clean Technology Program which will provide $1.2 billion to upgrade industry’s capital equipment and carry out research and development (R&D) to ensure Australian industry competitive in an increasingly carbon constrained world.
· The new R&D Tax Incentive for research and development which represents the biggest reform to business innovation support in more than a decade.
By contrast, the Opposition Leader Tony Abbott has said the Coalition would slash investment in manufacturing.
Mr Abbott voted against Labor’s Steel Transformation Plan in Parliament last year. Now he wants to cut $500M in Government support for the automotive industry, which is the backbone of Australian manufacturing.
Across Australia new engineering construction rose by a staggering 52 per cent last year – the largest annual increase in 30 years. This reflects some of big LNG projects that are now under construction, like Gorgon and Wheatstone projects off the coast of Western Australia.
“We expect more than $20 billion and $15 billion to flow to Australian businesses over the life of the Gorgon and Wheatstone projects with some of the highest ever local content benefits for an Australian resource project,” Mr Gray said.
“That’s the equivalent of Chevron injecting 35 Perth stadiums into the Australian economy.
“The Gorgon and Wheatstone Projects will provide opportunities and economic benefits on a scale never seen before in Australia.
“The news for local families looking for this type of work is excellent.
“Chevron, the parent company, advises me that during peak construction, the Gorgon and Wheatstone Projects together will create an estimated 16,500 direct and indirect jobs.
“The Gillard Government is working with stakeholders to increase the number of trade professionals, engineers and geoscientists, strengthen workforce participation of local communities, and forge stronger ties between industry and education,” Mr Gray said.
A wide range of activities are underway, including:
· Forging stronger ties between industry and education through an Industry-led web portal – OresomeResources;
· Increasing competency based progression through the 400 adult apprentices engaged by Bechtel Australia, 50 diesel fitters engaged by MacMahon, and 25 apprentice fitters engaged by Anglo American Metallurgical Coal, under the industry led National Apprenticeship Program;
· Government funding of more than $20 million under the National Workforce Development Fund to support training for more than 4,000 learners in the resources sector. This includes more than $2.5 million for qualifications for the operation of oil and gas assets in WA;
· Improving the attraction and retention of women in the resources sector through the Australian Women in Resources Alliance (AWRA), launched in Perth on 9 November 2011. The key focus of the project is to provide a catalyst for organisational change that promotes increased female engagement in enterprises in the resources and construction sectors; and
· The Australian Council of Engineering Deans working with universities and industry peak bodies to increase the industry engagement in engineering degrees, including interdisciplinary project work for second year engineering students.
“These reforms will give people the opportunity to access high paying skilled jobs which will help address skill shortages,” Mr Gray said.
“The demand for skilled labour in the resource sector underlines the importance of the Government’s announcement that diploma and advanced diploma vocational students would no longer have to pay upfront fees and other students would be guaranteed a subsidised training place worth up to $7,800.
“To date, almost $15 billion has been committed to Australian industry and more than 4000 jobs have been created (more than 90 per cent in WA),” Mr Gray said.
WA contractors include AGC, Civmec, CBI/Kentz, Ertech (for the Gorgon project); and WorleyParsons, Decmil, Aspen Medical (for Wheatstone).
Ertech has secured a $50 million general services contract for Gorgon which will require the WA-based construction company to provide a multi-skilled workforce and equipment to support construction activities for the gas processing plant on Barrow Island, including road works, earthworks and civil, mechanical, electrical and building works.
Previous local contractors to benefit included Killarnee Civil and Concrete, Wheatbelt Steel, Paull and Warner, Ausco, Howard Porter, Cimeco and Leighton.