Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon says a Federal Inquiry into manufacturing, proposed by Greens MP for Melbourne Adam Bandt, would create a springboard from which to boost job growth in the Illawarra and Hunter's manufacturing sectors.
The Australian Greens are calling for a wide ranging, independent inquiry into manufacturing and jobs. They have rejected Prime Minister Julia Gillard's one day jobs forum on October 6 as a 'talkfest'.
"Recent job losses underline the need for a rigorous inquiry, finding ways to encourage innovation and adaption, identify opportunities in the manufacturing sector as well as threats," Senator Rhiannon said.
"Over many decades the Hunter and Illawarra have made an enormous contribution to the Australian economy.
"Only with a strong regional focus on manufacturing can we rebuild, repair and grow new jobs in the regions.
"The mining boom has created a two-speed economy, with NSW and Victoria struggling while the resource rich states of WA and QLD ride the boom.
"The Greens are not shy of the idea of tweaking local content rules, to see how we can stimulate the sector and create jobs for workers.
"If we fail to take action then Australia, and in particular NSW, will be left struggling with a multi-speed economy and all the headaches that this creates," Senator Rhiannon said.
Adam Bandt's full motion calling for an inquiry is here.