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Parliamentary Questions

Question Without Notice No. 221 asked in the Legislative Council on 20 March 2019 by Hon Charles Smith

Minister responding: Hon M. McGowan
Parliament: 40 Session: 1

Answered on

JOBS — LOCAL WORKERS

221. Hon CHARLES SMITH to the minister representing the Minister for State Development, Jobs and Trade:

I refer to the recent deal in New South Wales between the New South Wales state government and Wipro with the contract stating that 30 per cent of the workforce will come from India, and I also refer to the Australian Population Research Institute warning in its 2016 report entitled, ''Immigration Overflow: Why it Matters'', which examined the widespread rorting of Australia's visa system.

Does the McGowan Labor government have any assurances for Western Australian workers that they will not be replaced by cheap foreign labour or interstate workers on future public and private large-scale contracts and projects?

Hon ALANNAH MacTIERNAN replied:

I thank the member for the question. The Premier has provided the following answer.

The Western Australian state government does not concern itself with the actions and activities of the New South Wales Liberal government. However, maximising local jobs is in the DNA of the Labor Party. This is evident through the fact that the McGowan government has already replaced the WA skilled migration occupation list, reducing the number of occupations on the list from 178 in 2016 to just 18 currently.

In addition, the Western Australian Jobs Bill 2017 was passed on 7 December 2017. This is the first piece of legislation that applies to all state departments, agencies, statutory authorities and government trading enterprises and all forms of procurement. Work has also commenced on a local jobs bill to ensure that benefits from major projects within the mining, oil and gas and construction industry sectors will flow through to local businesses. This will create more local jobs for Western Australians. With the introduction of this bill, the government aims to maximise local content across private sector infrastructure and resources projects within the state.