LABOR candidates for Bathurst, Orange and Dubbo are promising to create more jobs in the Central West ahead of the NSW election on March 23.
Their pledge came after their leader Michael Daley announced that he will introduce a law requiring local jobs and materials to be written into all government tender documents if he wins next month’s poll.
Labor candidate for Dubbo Stephen Lawrence said a Daley Labor government will build a rail maintenance facility in Dubbo, providing hundreds of jobs in the construction phase and 50 on an ongoing basis.
“We will not slash and burn public sector jobs here like the Nationals have,” Mr Lawrence said.
“Our local jobs policy will mean state government projects valued at more than $50 million will trigger a 50 per cent local workforce.”
The Nationals’ candidate for Dubbo Dugald Saunders says he is also in favour of local suppliers and providers being included in government tenders.
Mr Saunders said it was the coalition government which signed the contract for setting up a rail maintenance facility in Dubbo last Thursday.
“This is a great local jobs story for this region, but isn’t the only one,” Mr Saunders said.
“I just announced locally the increase in nurses, midwives, doctors and other healthcare workers promised by the Nationals in government.
“Based on current demand the Western NSW Local Health District can expect: 271 more nurses and midwives, 27 more doctors, 37 more allied health workers and 53 more hospital support workers.”
Labor candidate for Orange Luke Sanger said the proposed NSW Jobs Act will require all NSW Government departments and agencies to consider local jobs, skills, and industry when making procurement decisions.
“The NSW Government agencies will only deal with businesses which pay their workers fairly and adhere to safe work practices,” Mr Sanger said.
“Every NSW state government contract will be assessed on how it can deliver more local jobs.
“The NSW Jobs Act will be modelled on the strong success of other state Labor government initiatives, the Western Australian Jobs Act 2017 and the Victorian Local Jobs First Act 2003.”
Mr Sanger said a Daley Labor government will invest 100 per cent of the proceeds of the $4.1 billion sale of Snowy Hydro in rural and regional Australia.
“These funds will be used to build productive infrastructure and deliver services that attract tourists, revitalise industries, and create skilled jobs.”
Labor candidate for Bathurst Beau Riley said the Labor policy of sourcing 50 per cent local workers and material will keep taxpayers’ money in local areas.
“This policy is about our taxpayers’ money going towards employing locals in local businesses,” Mr Riley said.
“The taxpayers will support a policy that keeps tax dollars local, not sending it overseas.”
Mr Riley and other candidates said they were opposed to outsourcing any work to overseas businesses where Australia has the ability to produce similar products.
Mr Lawrence said NSW can also build trains locally using local workers like other states.
“This [Coalition] government seems to have the wrong priorities and no vision,” he said.
“It’s the merchant banker approach to running the state - everything is about the deal, not the people.”