Job outsourcing fears

CONCERNED their jobs will end up overseas, about 30 Australian Manufacturing Workers Union members gathered in wet conditions in Gladstone yesterday.

AMWU member and Yarwun 2 worker Clint Ward said he feared for his and his children’s future employment.

“If we let everything go overseas, all we will be doing is basically putting together Meccano sets here,” he said.

Colleague and fellow union member Owen Bessell said he was a bit disappointed with the turnout at yesterday’s rally as the campaign, Manufacturing Matters, also included the next generation’s employment options.

“It’s important manufacturing stays in Australia and not overseas and keep the money in Australia,” he said.

AMWU members rallied in Goondoon Street, opposite the Gladstone Regional Council chambers, to demand that local industry share the benefits of the $20 billion in projects proposed or under way in the region.

The members unanimously agreed to lobby the State Government to release land at Fisherman’s Landing to set up five or six manufacturing sites to coincide with the proposed Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) projects.

“If we don’t make these LNG plants here, then the potential local jobs and economic benefits will disappear,” AMWU state secretary Andrew Dettmer said.

“We also need the Gladstone Port and the State Government to ensure we have a common user facility to assemble LNG modules here in Queensland,” he said.

“LNG plants are increasingly manufactured using modular manufacturing process, and Gladstone needs a facility so that local manufacturers can contribute to locally integrated modules.”

According to 2007-08 statistics, there were about 11,000 manufacturing businesses in Queensland employing 188,000 people.

“That makes it one of Queensland’s leading employers and a vital part of our state’s future success,” Mr Dettmer said.

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