PM throws support behind local mining and manufacturing
A BUOYANT Prime Minister made his way around Rockhampton yesterday, confident that his government's investment in CQ's resources and manufacturing section would deliver what people wanted most in this election: "jobs, jobs and jobs”.
After a relaxing Thursday evening tucking into rib fillet and chips at Rocky's iconic Criterion Hotel, Scott Morrison kicked off his Friday morning touring burgeoning Parkhurst-based manufacturing business Nu-Tank.
He took the opportunity to talk up his government's latest campaign promise to create a $30 million School of Mining and Manufacturing in Rockhampton and Gladstone with CQUniversity.
Not only would 320 jobs be created in the school's construction phase but local manufacturers like Nu-Tank would capitalise by having a readily available pool of skilled regional employees to tap into.
Speaking in an exclusive interview with The Morning Bulletin, Mr Morrison said listening to the people of Capricornia, like most of Australia, employment was the number one issue on people's lips.
By announcing the new school, his party was throwing their support behind the region's resource and manufacturing sectors, providing them with the confidence to drive employment.
"This announcement today is actually building the facilities and the infrastructure that is needed for the people that are going to come in and get that training, who are making those decisions because at the other end, there's an employer that's going to be there for them,” Mr Morrison said.
He said it was important to believe in CQ's industrial base and the careers that many locals chose to pursue in these sectors, with "35,000 jobs on the line here in Central Queensland”.
"Under our government, we'll be training people for jobs that exist in industries that are supported,” he said.
Questioned whether he would match Labor's manufacturing promise for a $15 million 'maintenance super hub' at the former Aurizon rolling stock workshops, Mr Morrison said it was light on detail compared to their school proposal.
"We've in a partnership with CQU, it's dealing with the key two concerns of skills development in both the mining sector and the manufacturing sector,” he said.
"I think that they are well thought through, quite well-crafted proposals which are real projects.”
The Prime Minister said the election was not an auction and he believed in exercising fiscal responsibility.
"You don't get anywhere just throwing money around. You actually have to have a project plan and this project is pretty specific,” he said.
Mr Morrison expected MP Michelle Landry to continue to deliver job generating major projects like the Ring Road and Rookwood Weir to the region, instilling confidence locals and businesses alike.
"Michelle is a key part of the reason for the confidence that people have that they have a local member who actually backs in the industries and the jobs that people depend on here. Our government is the same,” Mr Morrison said.
"We think Central Queenslanders should decide how they make a living and they should feel good about the living that they make.
"It's an honest living. It's a hard-working living.
"Whether businesses like we're sitting in today or people working out in the mines, in the transport sector or the pastoral sector, they should feel good about the jobs they're doing.
"I feel good about the jobs they're doing because it's building Australia's economy,” he said.
The Queensland Resources Council (QRC) welcomed the Coalition Government's commitment of $30 million for the new CQ University School of Mines and Manufacturing in Gladstone and Rockhampton.
QRC Chief Executive Ian Macfarlane said the resources sector contributed more than $7 billion to the Fitzroy region's economy and more than 40,000 full-time equivalent jobs across the region, and the development of skills was critical to future investment and employment.
"The Queensland Resources Council, with the support of its members and the Palaszczuk Government, promotes science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) in classrooms of 60 secondary schools across the State through the Queensland Minerals and Energy Academy,” Mr Macfarlane said.
"We would welcome the opportunity to work with the School of Mines and Manufacturing to ensure the promised investment maximises the employment opportunities in the sector.
"Over the last 15 months, the resources sector has created a new job every 57 minutes. Despite increasing unemployment in Queensland, the resources sector continues to create jobs for Queensland men and women.”
Mr Macfarlane said the LNP commitment followed an earlier pledge by the Federal Labor Opposition to contribute $75 million for a road map for a new generation of mines, will help deliver new discoveries, new investment, new exports and new jobs for Queensland.