Sydney Times



Written by City Reporter


NSW Labor will bring a Bill to Parliament to overhaul the State’s purchasing and procurement powers to support NSW jobs, industry and supply chains, help workers develop skills and grow the NSW economy out of the COVID-19 recession.

The Labor Leader Jodi McKay said: “I grew up in a rural community and had to leave to get a job. 30 years later that’s still happening. The Government must intervene, because only when rural and regional NSW is strong can the entire state thrive.”

As part of Labor’s NSW Made campaign, The NSW Jobs First Bill will bring NSW in line with other states, including Victoria and South Australia and provide a much-needed boost to economies across regional NSW.

Ms McKay said: “Government money should be spent in NSW to help kick-start the economy. This plan will bolster employment and support NSW businesses during the biggest economic downturn since the Great Depression.”

“The Premier talks about economic recovery, but she doesn’t have a plan to create jobs. The NSW Government spends more than $30 billion on goods and services each year.  Every single cent of that should be helping create jobs in NSW. Every single cent should create and support industry across NSW – especially in regional NSW.”

Part of NSW Labor’s Bill is the establishment of a NSW Jobs First Advocate to advocate for businesses and industry in Government purchasing decisions, and hold suppliers to account for the NSW jobs and supply chain commitments they make.

“Just this week we discovered Indonesian-made ferries destined for Sydney Harbour are riddled with asbestos and are too tall to fit under bridges. The Government should be building these ferries in NSW.  Local manufacturing supports local jobs, which is critical to the recovery of our state. If the Premier is serious about economic recovery she will support this Bill.”

As part of this Bill, suppliers looking to win government contracts would have to submit an Industry Development Plan to outline how they’ll support NSW jobs and industries.

A proportion of jobs on major State Government projects would also go to apprentices and trainees, Indigenous Australians, disadvantaged and vulnerable groups and the long-term unemployed.

“If you spend taxpayer money responsibly, you can create jobs across the State. You can support businesses. And you can make sure there are opportunities for everyone in the workforce.”

While at Cooma where the historic Snowy 2.0 will be built, Ms McKay said the NSW Premier should be using her position at National Cabinet to make sure NSW steel and NSW jobs are at the centre of this nation-building project.

“It makes sense to buy a NSW-made product instead of using foreign steel, particularly during a recession. Every local steel industry worker employed supports another six workers in related industries.”

Since 2011, successive NSW Liberal governments have sent local jobs offshore, awarding contracts worth billions of dollars to overseas manufacturers.

These include:

  • Imported steel for the International Convention Centre and Sydney Metro
  • Ferries from Indonesia and China
  • Buses from Germany and Malaysia
  • Trains from South Korea and China
  • Metros from India
  • Light rail vehicles from France and Spain

“People would be shocked to know major NSW Government projects, along with most of the wind turbines and solar panels that generate energy here are mostly made from imported steel.”
“Buying local supports jobs and supports industry in NSW,” Ms McKay said. “Nowhere is this more important than across regional NSW. Labor’s plan will back NSW businesses, overhaul procurement practices, boost manufacturing capacity and strengthen the economy.

“The money Government spends is your taxpayer money. It should be spent to create jobs in NSW, not overseas.”

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