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Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard yesterday announced a AUD 1 billion jobs plan ahead of the national election this year. A move aimed at winning her support from the country’s blue collar workers.
The job package was announced in Melbourne on Sunday. Large projects, for instance in the mining and infrastructure industries, will be required to give Australian firms early notice and an opportunity to pitch for work.
Ms Gillard’s labour party also wants to reform anti-dumping laws to stop “unfair" competition from foreign companies. “Labor's vision is for a diverse, innovative competitive Australian economy which delivers well-paid, skilled and rewarding jobs,” said Ms Gillard.
Unions have welcomed the plans which they say will keep jobs in Australia and create new opportunities for Australian manufacturers.
It has long been a concern of the union movement that major resource and infrastructure projects do not look at local sources. But under the plans, major project developers will have to consider local companies and ensure Australian companies get a chance to bid for contracts.