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Consequences of Government allowing jobs to go offshore

21 June, 2006

The Howard Government is the only Government in the western world not investing in its own manufacturing sector, and the statements by the Federal Government’s chief economic advisor that the manufacturing industry should be ignored and left to die is a disgrace, according to the Australian Manufacturing Workers' Union.

National Secretary of the AMWU, Doug Cameron, said that the manufacturing industry in Australia supported over one million jobs around the country and was the engine room for the development of skills, which ensures Australia’s economic health and independence into the future.

“The statements by the Treasury Secretary that the Australian Government should just continue to let Australian manufacturing die has at least revealed publicly the lack of planning and commitment by the Howard Government to Australian industry,” Cameron said.

“Ken Henry’s statements reveal that the Australian Government is happy to let tens of thousands of jobs go off-shore, and to trade away the future industrial development of Australia on the promise of an ongoing resources boom.

“Australia is the only advanced economy in the world whose policy prescription for competing internationally in manufacturing is to do nothing. Every other developed nation is investing in local manufacturing to ensure an independent economic base for their country and for the ongoing development of a skilled workforce.

“The Federal Government is making a very clear choice to pursue the low road – to give up well paid, skilled and important jobs in manufacturing. This decision made now will be impossible to reverse in the future, once we have lost our local skills and industrial base.

“The Federal Government should immediately convene a meeting of manufacturers, the ACTU and the States to discuss Henry’s statements, and to put in place a plan to ensure Henry’s doomsday predictions do not become a reality,” Cameron said.

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