WA Government setting all the wrong records

Published on Tuesday, 28 February 2017 13:39

For the sake of jobs, for the sake of freight reliability and for the sake of regional security and our humanitarian disaster response capacity, we must act to strengthen and protect Australian shipping, Australian shipbuilding and the jobs and livelihoods of Australian seafarers. We must keep Fremantle port in public ownership. We must overcome the madness of the Perth Freight Link. Only Labor has those policies. Only Labor makes that commitment.

Mr Wilson (1:39pm) — Since the turn of the year, Western Australia has taken the mantle of bearing the highest unemployment in the country. The Barnett government can now add that milestone to its other achievements, including the highest per capita state debt and the highest inequality in the nation. In my electorate and in Western Australia more broadly we are desperate to see some investment in productive infrastructure. We are desperate for some investment, any investment, in public transport, rail freight, renewable energy industry and Australian shipbuilding. But we have seen three-fifths of nothing.

I have called on numerous occasions for the government to invest in the second stage of the floating dock at the Australian Marine Complex. It is a threshold investment if WA is to get a fair share of defence shipbuilding. Yet when the Prime Minister made what is now becoming his biannual visit to Western Australia last week we got a reheated announcement with no details and no commitment to specific shipbuilding infrastructure. In fact, the only thing it achieved was to cloud the integrity of the current OPV tender process.

For the sake of jobs, for the sake of freight reliability and for the sake of regional security and our humanitarian disaster response capacity, we must act to strengthen and protect Australian shipping, Australian shipbuilding and the jobs and livelihoods of Australian seafarers. We must keep Fremantle port in public ownership. We must overcome the madness of the Perth Freight Link. Only Labor has those policies. Only Labor makes that commitment.

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