INFRASTRUCTURE: AWU economists estimate that ensuring 90 per cent of the steel, aluminium, glass, cement and other heavy manufacturing items used on major government projects was Australian would pump $3.5 billion into the economy.
INFRASTRUCTURE: AWU economists estimate that ensuring 90 per cent of the steel, aluminium, glass, cement and other heavy manufacturing items used on major government projects was Australian would pump $3.5 billion into the economy.

Aussie made building products to create 53,000 jobs

AUSTRALIA could bolster its post-coronavirus economy by simply ensuring new infrastructure is built with Australian manufactured products, like Australian steel, the Australian Workers' Union says.

AWU economists estimate that ensuring 90 per cent of the steel, aluminium, glass, cement and other heavy manufacturing items used on major government projects was Australian would pump $3.5 billion into the economy and create some 53,000 jobs.

AWU national secretary Daniel Walton has called on all Australian governments to commit to procuring Australian steel and other products for upcoming infrastructure builds.

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"Government is now set to stimulate the economy by spending huge money on infrastructure. We need to make sure we get a double bite at the economic cherry and back Australian jobs," Mr Walton said.

"Australians make high quality products and we do so efficiently. But unlike other countries, we don't make any special efforts to back our own.

"If we do that we actually strengthen our sovereign capability, that is our capacity to stand on our own two feet and produce what we need domestically."

He said Australia should maintain "cordial" trade relations with China, but should not rely on Beijing for things that could be produced here.

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Meanwhile, the Housing Industry Association has asked the Fair Work Commission to consider changes to the Building and Construction General Onsite Award that help employers and employees in the residential building industry stay connected despite the impacts of COVID-19.

HIA executive director of industrial relations, Melisa Adler, said this would give those employers who remain ineligible for JobKeeper the same flexibility as other businesses.


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