Fear 1000 local jobs will be lost
THE FIGHT to protect 1000 local jobs is about to be taken to the next level.
At 5pm tomorrow, the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union will hold a community meeting at the Brolga Theatre in Maryborough where members plan to launch a new campaign, Make It Here or Jobs Disappear.
They say they want to use the campaign to warn residents that their economy is under a very real threat from the possible loss of a Queensland Rail passenger train tender for the manufacture of 200 trains at Downer EDi and Bombardier.
And after months of doubt and speculation within the local industry, they’re also going to step up their push for “firm commitments” from QR.
“The AMWU has sought and received commitments from the Queensland Government for a weighting for local content and a stronger Local Industry Participation Plan in this tender,” AMWU Queensland Secretary Andrew Dettmer said.
“However, we’re concerned that it won’t be enough – we need firm commitments from Qld Rail that they will not let the Fraser Coast manufacturing industry waste away.”
While Downer EDi and Bombardier have been confirmed as one of three short-listed bidders for the multi-million-dollar contract, the AMWU is concerned QR might opt for one of the two overseas bidders to save money.
“We’re not sure what agenda lies behind QR’s seeming determination to seek an imported train, we just know that it’s got to stop for the sake of the Fraser Coast community.”
Paul Scurrah, Executive General Manager QR Passenger, said QR was “committed to ensuring local industry is involved in the construction of our new passenger trains and has provided local industry participation policies as part of the bidding process for upcoming contracts”.
“(Downer EDi/Bombardier) is currently contracted until 2012 to build 64 passenger trains for QR and is also one of the three bidders to compete for a future contract.”
Without regular Brisbane rail car orders, Maryborough’s train workshops could close, taking 1000 jobs and ripping 28 per cent from the local economy.