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Jobs forum a start, manufacturing inquiry and industry plans needed

Media Release
Lee Rhiannon 6 Oct 2011

Commenting on today’s Jobs Forum in Canberra, Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon said the event highlighted the need to develop detailed renewable energy industry plans at both a national and regional level to help stimulate the ailing manufacturing sector and create long-term sustainable employment.

“Today’s ideas swap was welcome, but constructing a workable plan to revive Australia’s manufacturing sector requires a parliamentary inquiry as proposed by the Greens,” Senator Rhiannon said.

“Genuine co-ordination is needed between industry, government and unions if we are to nut out solutions that will work for the nation.

“While most delegates I met said they found the forum of some benefit, a number from the renewables industry spoke of the complex challenges facing their sector, particularly finding sufficient engineers.

“If the government wants to build a vibrant manufacturing industry, particularly in renewables, it must roll up its sleeves and invest in training people to develop the necessary specialised skills.

“It’s clear the two speed economy exists not just between states, such as NSW and WA, but within them.

“A close examination of what is happening in particular regions will allow a proper assessment of the existing manufacturing base and what is needed to get it back on its feet.

“A valuable model is the ‘Green Jobs Illawarra Action Plan’ developed by the South Coast Labour Council, the University of Wollongong, Illawarra TAFE, the Illawarra Business Chamber and the Australian Industry Group.

“If implemented this Greens Job plan, released in 2009, could reignite the manufacturing industry which provided a backbone for NSW’s Illawarra region for so many decades,” Senator Rhiannon said.

Contact: Lee Rhiannon 0487 350 880.

Terms of reference for Greens MP Adam Bandt’s proposed Joint Select Committee in Parliament into Australian jobs and manufacturing inquiry here.

Detail on Greens Job Illawarra Action Plan here.


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