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Manufacturing taskforce: jobs for Illawarra and Hunter if Govt acts

The Hunter and Illawarra regions could receive a strong boost from the recommendations of the Manufacturing Industry Taskforce report released today, if the federal government backs key initiatives such as a strong local content rules, a sovereign wealth fund and training and energy efficiency measures, says Senator for NSW Lee Rhiannon.

"The mining boom and high Australian dollar has helped to shatter manufacturing in the Hunter and Illawarra regions and government attention to boosting manufacturing is well overdue," Senator for NSW Lee Rhiannon said.

"Strong local content rules and attention to skills and training are key ingredients in any recipe to rescue manufacturing and create jobs for the future of these regions.

"Greens MP for Melbourne Adam Bandt will move in Parliament to implement the Taskforce's recommendation for an inquiry into a Sovereign Wealth Fund.

"Skimming off the cream from the mining boom via a Sovereign Wealth Fund and providing for the future when the mining bubble bursts is smart planning.

"The Greens will continue to campaign hard for high speed rail along the east coast of NSW - stimulating jobs and the manufacturing sector while providing much needed public transport to benefit the environment.

"This project would benefit the Hunter and Illawarra in job creation and transport upgrades.

"Australia is lagging behind other nations which have hitched their wagon to a low carbon economy which stimulates manufacturing and creates sustainable jobs.

"The Hunter and Illawarra have suffered from a two speed economy for too long. The government now has no excuse but to drive these reforms, hand in hand with workers, unions and industry," Senator Rhiannon said.

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