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News Media Releases Jobs before Ads: Sorting the Wheatstone from the Chaff
Jobs before Ads: Sorting the Wheatstone from the Chaff
Tuesday, 14 February 2012 13:29

Industry groups and unions campaigning for more skilled work to be performed locally for WA’s major resources projects have today criticised the Chevron advertising campaign and the Barnett Governments meek acceptance of it.

Australian Steel Institute State Manager James England said:

“Chevron's campaign only identifies Australian companies working on the Wheatstone, not the type or volume of work that is being performed locally.  Its own advertisements estimate total project costs of $29billion for Wheatstone with only $4billion of work being performed locally, making it one of the worst performing major resources projects in terms of delivering opportunities to local businesses and workers.
“Of the $4billion of local expenditure Chevron has identified, none of this work is fabricated steel.  In fact, of the 150,000 tonnes of skilled steel contracts Chevron has awarded for Wheatstone, 100 per cent of this work has been sent offshore.” 

Unions WA Secretary Simone McGurk said:

“While we welcome the $4billion that will be spent here, we are disappointed that the vast majority of it will be on work that will not result in skills development.”
The recent Reserve Bank of Australia Monetary Policy Statement noted that: “The import intensity of current mining investment projects is also higher than in earlier years. One aspect of this is a global tendency for greater use of off-site ‘modular’ construction processes...the infancy of the LNG industry in Australia has meant that local firms are sometimes at a competitive disadvantage, due to a perception that they lack the same experience as foreign suppliers (p47)” (  Ms McGurk said:

“We don’t want WA to become an IKEA-economy, with a workforce only able to use an Allen-key to put together products made overseas. Youth unemployment in unacceptably high in South Metropolitan Perth and other areas.  If WA is to leverage a strong economic future from the current boom, then more needs to be done to ensure a broader dividend of jobs from the resources boom.”

Steve McCartney, State Secretary of the Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union said:

“Instead of holding joint PR stunts with Chevron the State Government should be using its leverage to maximise Australian content from the mammoth Gorgon and Wheatstone projects.  If Chevron projects are contributing so much to the WA economy, why did the Australian Bureau of Statistics report a loss of 2,000 manufacturing jobs in Kwinana in the year to December last year, and why has youth unemployment in that area almost doubled over the last three years, to now sit above 25 per cent?
“It’s great that Chevron is creating jobs in the Advertising Industry, however until we see manufacturing contracts flow into Australian workshops to create jobs and apprenticeships, Chevron and the State Government are all spin and little substance.”

pdf 251.51 Kb Media Release: 120212 WAJOBS before ads.pdf 

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