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Ships, trains and submarines — can we build them here?

11 Sep 2012

Tim Ayres wishes Clive Palmer and other mining giants would give local manufacturers a go instead of heading overseas.

When Clive Palmer recently announced his replica of the Titanic would be built in China due to the lack of ship building facilities in Australia, the AMWU hit back with a video clip showing the 500-strong workforce at a Newcastle shipyard.

It’s all part of the AMWU’s campaign, Build Them Here, appealing to government to set local content targets on some of the massive construction and transport projects to ensure local manufacturers get contracts ahead of low cost overseas competitors — as is often the case in the mining industry.

Tim Ayres, the NSW secretary for the AMWU, tells 3Q that local manufacturers can build heavy infrastructure – they just need to be given the opportunity. In doing so, new jobs and apprenticeships will be created, valuable intellectual property is developed and the knock on effect strengthens the economy.