The national union representing workers in the building products and furniture manufacturing industries, CFMEU Manufacturing, has warned that the commissioning of the new quarantine facility at Mickleham could be delayed if local manufactured products are not sourced for all aspects of the project.
The union wants the Australian and Victorian governments to act so that Multiplex, the head contractor announced last week, ensures local manufacturers of finishing components — glass products, doors and windows, cabinets, joinery, kitchens, shower screens, curtains, blinds, carpets and timber — are properly engaged to supply the project.
The sourcing of imported finishing components could delay completion of the project with COVID-19 impacts continuing to cause unpredictable freight delays to imports and the risk of imported products not conforming with Australian Standards, problems which we cannot afford to ensure if we want the facility up and running by Christmas as planned.
“Clearly this is a project with urgent national health, economic and security implications, and one we cannot afford to risk delay,” CFMEU Manufacturing Division National Secretary Michael O’Connor said.
“Our local manufacturers have the capability to provide all windows, doors, shower screens, mattresses, furniture, cabinets, joinery, kitchens, curtains, blinds, timber and timber products and work uniforms for the project.
“Ensuring local content on the finishing components of the Mickleham quarantine facility would not only secure local jobs but would ensure the project has the best possible chance of finishing on time.”
Commonwealth funding of the project means that either the requirements of the Australian Jobs Act (2013) or the Victorian Local Jobs First Act (2003) which mandate opportunities for local suppliers must apply.
These requirements are more important than ever as construction downturns due to lockdowns begin to bite local building products and furniture manufactures.
The union is calling for:
- The project being designated a Strategic Project under Victoria’s Local Jobs First Act (2003)
- A high minimum local content requirement for Furniture, Fittings and Equipment (in recognition that some specialised technology may require importation due to the nature of the project)
- A requirement for the use of 100% local content of the products mentioned above and other Australian-made products where there is demonstrated local industry capability.
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