The Liberal government must ensure it puts Tasmania first in its promised infrastructure revival to help the state’s building and construction sector recover from crippling job losses.
Shadow Minister for Building and Construction Jen Butler said almost 1,200 jobs have been lost in the sector since the start of COVID-19.
“A recent report by Master Builder Australia shows almost 20,000 workers were employed in the Tasmanian construction industry at the start of the year,” Ms Butler said.
“But the report also shows around 1,140 of these jobs have been lost since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis.
“This is yet another indication of the need to prioritise local businesses and workers in the industry as we start to start building back our economy.
“With the government promising infrastructure investment as a way out of this crisis, there must be a Tasmania-first focus in the awarding of tenders and contracts and priority must be given to employing Tasmanians.
“That means special quarantine exemptions for interstate workers should only be provided if the job can’t be filled by a local.
“There is currently no system to check whether a local building and construction worker could to the same job and I again urge the government to change this as a matter of priority.
“The government has a responsibility to do whatever it takes to keep as many Tasmanian workers employed, especially when the success of Tasmania’s COVID-19 recovery depends on getting locals into work.
“Labor stands ready to support investment in the economy, focussing on social housing, transport infrastructure and key sites like the Burnie Port.
“But we want to see real action from this government, and real measures to put Tasmanians first and build back some of the jobs lost to the pandemic.”
Jen Butler MP
Shadow Minister for Building and Construction