Labor turns back on local boat-builders

17 Feb 2012 11:01 AMJann Stuckey

17 February 2012

THE Bligh Labor government was shunning local Queensland boat-builders and set to award the contract for seven new police patrol boats to a New South Wales company.

LNP Shadow Minister for Tourism, Manufacturing and Small Business Jann Stuckey said the ‘green light’ to the company, on the NSW Central Coast, flew in the face of Labor’s ‘Local Participation Policy’ that was supposed to support local manufacturing and local jobs.

“It’s a disgrace,” Ms Stuckey said.

“At a time when our local boat-building industry is under pressure from high input costs, soaring water, power and fuel costs, a mountain of government red tape, taxes and charges, Labor has turned its back on local companies and local workers.

“It proves that Labor’s Queensland Industry Participation Policy, and moreover its Manufacturing Strategy, Making Queensland’s Future – The Smart Queensland Smart State Strategy 2005-15 which classifies Queensland’s marine industry sector as an ‘Emerging Industry’ – is a total sham.

“The Premier and Minister have effectively said – go away, we’re not interested in you, we’re buying the new police patrol boats from New South Wales – we couldn’t care less about supporting local industry and local jobs.”

Ms Stuckey said there was no question that local Queensland companies had the skills and expertise to build the patrol boats.

“We’re not talking about large, specialist naval vessels – we’re talking five and seven-metre aluminium craft – the sort that local builder excel in designing and constructing.”

Ms Stuckey said Labor’s Minister for Manufacturing Jan Jarratt has once again revealed her incompetence and indifference to Queensland manufacturers and Queensland workers.

“It’s time for change. It’s time to get Queensland back on track.”