Mr Ripper said the Skilled Local Jobs Bill will ensure the Barnett Government takes responsibility for engineering, manufacturing, fabrication and construction sector workers and companies receiving a decent share of work from the State’s mineral wealth.
“Labor’s legislation will ensure project proponents are up front and transparent about how they will employ Western Australia’s underutilised skilled manufacturing workforce,” he said.
“Our Bill requires skilled work provisions be inserted into all new State Agreements, making it incumbent on the Government and project proponents to be upfront to the people of Western Australia.
“When a State Agreement isn’t required, a standalone Skilled Work Agreement will be tabled in Parliament and made publicly available.
“The new law will significantly increase transparency around the tender process of projects without adding to the burden of the approvals process.”
Mr Ripper said the Barnett Government had continually ignored pleas from workers and businesses to support local manufacturing jobs for WA projects.
“As local businesses go to the wall the Premier takes a tour of the empty fabrication workshops, and as youth unemployment doubles in two years he says the situation will work itself out,” Mr Ripper said.
“The Premier cannot continue to turn a blind eye to the growing angst among workers and businesses.”
Mr Ripper said the Premier was overseeing a two-speed economy.
“Every Western Australian deserves their fair share of the State’s mining prosperity,” he said.
“Colin Barnett is sending WA jobs offshore and not delivering the benefits of the boom.”
Labor Spokesperson for Local Jobs Peter Tinley said the Skilled Local Jobs Bill will force the Barnett Government to stand up for WA jobs and businesses.
“Our Bill will provide local businesses with the information they need to compete and participate on a level playing field,” he said.
“Labor will continue to stand up for Western Australian jobs and ensure the benefits of the mining boom flow into local workshops.
“The Barnett Government must actively ensure where possible, Western Australian companies and workers are given every opportunity to participate in major projects.”