Labor calls on the Prime Minister to urgently meet with Caterpillar executives to establish what needs to be done to ensure that hundreds of Tasmanian jobs are not shipped offshore but stay in Burnie.
After months of dithering and indecision, Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane and Member for Braddon Brett Whiteley must take strong and immediate action in Burnie.
The previous Labor Government established regional Innovation and Investment Funds in response to large scale closures. We know that they work.
The news that Caterpillar will move part of its operation to Thailand has sent shockwaves through the manufacturing supply chain and local community and our thoughts are with workers and their families at this difficult time.
aterpillar’s extensive network of suppliers means that its operations are integral to the Tasmanian economy, particularly on the north west coast.
Labor is aware of the challenges facing Caterpillar. In government, we were working closely with the firm to make sure its contribution to the Tasmanian economy would continue into the future.
Sustaining manufacturing in regional areas requires government action, not just platitudes, and this government must do more to create quality jobs in areas like Burnie.
Australia needs to maintain its manufacturing capacity and this government can’t just walk away from its responsibilities.
If Mr Abbott wants to create high skill, high wage jobs, he should heed Labor’s call to take strong and immediate action, and consider policies like those that the former Labor Government implemented such as an Innovation and Investment Fund to attract manufacturing and other business investment into the region.