Luke Sinclair, Senator Murray Watt, Mayor Matt Burnett and Allison Murdoch at the CQUniversity Trades Training Centre today.
Luke Sinclair, Senator Murray Watt, Mayor Matt Burnett and Allison Murdoch at the CQUniversity Trades Training Centre today.

Senator calls for manufacturing plan to boost Gladstone jobs

QUEENSLAND Labor Senator Murray Watt called on Prime Minister Scott Morrison to create a Central Queensland manufacturing plan while visiting Gladstone today.

Touring the CQUniversity Trades Training Centre at the Gladstone Marina campus, Mr Watt said creating jobs was key to the region recovering from the first recession in 30 years.

“When you come to Gladstone you have got to talk about manufacturing,” he said.

“It is a manufacturing town and one of the biggest and best manufacturing cities in Australia and that is no surprise when you see the quality of training we have here in Gladstone.”

Mr Watt said he thought Gladstone’s best days were ahead of it.

“I think there is still incredible opportunities for Gladstone to grow as a manufacturing centre not only in Australia but across the world,” he said.

“When you think about the skills here, when you think about the companies and products that are produced here, there are so many more opportunities for Gladstone in the years ahead.”

Mr Watt said Australia could not afford the Federal Government to have a complacent attitude towards manufacturing and was calling on them to think.

“To come up with a plan for manufacturing and jobs here in Central Queensland and right across the country as well,” he said.

Mr Watt also called for proper investment from the Federal Government in skills.

“Unfortunately, since this Federal Government came to power in 2013, they have ripped $3B out of Tafe funding across the country,” he said.

“Even just in Central Queensland we lost 3000 apprentices and trainees since this government came to power seven years ago.

“How on Earth can we expect to compete as a manufacturing nation if we are not investing in the skills of young people to make sure they are ready for these jobs in the future?”

Gladstone Mayor Matt Burnett agreed with Senator Watt and said what he wanted to see was more manufacturing jobs in Gladstone and Central Queensland.

“I’m sure Murray Watt and his team will be able to deliver that message to Canberra for us and make sure we get those jobs here.

“Not just in trade but right across Central Queensland.”

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