Mr Ripper addressed today’s local jobs community rally, where workers, local business owners and industry leaders took a stand against the Barnett Government’s failure to guarantee jobs for local businesses, to announce Labor’s legislation would be introduced next week.
“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.
“Premier Colin Barnett continues to ignore calls from workers and business to support local manufacturing jobs for large-scale Western Australian projects.
“Labor’s plan will significantly increase transparency around tender processes of projects, without adding the burden of the approvals process.
“The current system is obviously not working and transparency is the best way forward.”
Mr Ripper said every Western Australian deserves their fair share of our mining prosperity and every Western Australian should benefit from the boom.
“Colin Barnett is not delivering the benefits to Western Australians and is instead sending WA jobs offshore,” he said.
“Enough is enough. The Barnett Government’s failure is forcing projects offshore, including the $300million contract for steel fabrication work for the Gorgon project, which would have created hundreds of local jobs.”
Mr Ripper said the Barnett Government should adopt Labor’s local content legislation which will force the Government and major project proponents to:
· detail procurement practices that will provide a fair opportunity for WA industry to participate;
· detail information on methods by which WA businesses will become part of the supply chain of the mine developer;
· detail how local suppliers will be given equal opportunity to participate as existing interstate and overseas suppliers;
· provide information on the expected percentage of local content;
· explain why local manufacturers are being overlooked for work not done here that could be done here; and
· detail which region of the State will benefit from participation.
Labor Spokesperson for Local Jobs Peter Tinley said now was the time to ensure the benefits of the resources boom are maximised and Western Australians received their fair share.
“The Barnett Government must actively ensure where possible, Western Australian companies and workers are given every opportunity to participate in major projects,” he said.
“It is not just jobs in construction going overseas, but also in design. If you don't design it here you can't make it here.
“The engineering and design sector in Western Australia is being choked out of business.
“Labor will continue to stand up for Western Australian jobs and ensure the benefits of the mining boom flow into local workshops.”