Jobs Growth and Procurement Policy

11th May 2016

Mr GREG PIPER ( Lake Macquarie ) ( 15:00 :17 ): My question is directed to the Minister for Finance, Services and Property. Noting the Commonwealth's decision on submarine procurement maximises the use of Australian worker input, will the Minister advise whether the Government will give a similar weighting to the benefits of local content in decisions on future major procurements such as the State's new inter-city rail fleet as a recent example?

Mr DOMINIC PERROTTET ( HawkesburyMinister for Finance, Services and Property) (15:00:53): I thank the member for his question. It was great to be with him last Friday at the opening of the Warners Bay Service NSW Centre. He is a member who constructively works with the Government to achieve good outcomes for his community. The New South Wales Government is a proud supporter of local jobs, and nothing is better for local jobs than the unrelenting economic growth that the Baird-Grant Government is driving across this State. When we have economic growth, we set the conditions for jobs growth, and that is exactly what we are doing. What we are also doing is undertaking the largest infrastructure program this State has ever seen. In the past three years the Government has spent $26 billion in construction goods and services. Almost 70 per cent of that $26 billion went to New South Wales based suppliers.

I will provide just a few examples. One hundred per cent of steel used to reinforce tunnels on the Sydney Metro Northwest—roughly 7,000 tonnes—was sourced in Australia. On the Sydney Metro Northwest Skytrain: more than 90 per cent of all steel—roughly 550 tonnes—was sourced in Australia. The Barangaroo Ferry Hub has 800 tonnes of Australian steel; the International Convention Centre Sydney has more than 1,000 tonnes of Australian steel; and on the Kempsey Bypass Australian steel has been used for 400 massive steel piling tubes. These are just samples of what we have already done—there is plenty more to come, because our $65 billion infrastructure program means jobs—thousands of local jobs—to build the infrastructure that is transforming our State.

Today the Premier and the transport Minister announced the release of the Metro City and Southwest environmental impact statement. This project alone will create 6,200 jobs in New South Wales. One has only to walk down George Street to see construction works for the Sydney light rail. The South East Light Rail will deliver approximately 1,800 jobs per year during construction. Sydney Metro Northwest will create more than 1,000 jobs, including a pre-employment training program with TAFE—a great project initiative to provide students with skills to gain employment. Wynyard Walk will create approximately 900 jobs per year in the construction phase. WestConnex will create a massive 10,000 jobs. And, of course, we place a great deal of importance on our regional communities, with $6 billion of Rebuilding NSW proceeds reserved for regional road, water security, schools, hospitals and rail freight infrastructure.

In response to the member's question relating to the new intercity fleet, I am advised that the tender is live, so I will not be able to provide comment on that project. But what I can say is that the new maintenance facility for the new intercity train is proposed to be located on the Central Coast. This means construction and operation jobs for the Central Coast, which I know will be welcomed by the member for Terrigal. These local projects mean local jobs, because we are the true government of the worker, and our procurement policies are vital to ensure our massive infrastructure program delivers for local industry.

Under those policies all tenderers for government contracts over $10 million must submit a small and medium enterprise participation plan that describes how the tender will support local businesses and jobs. Tenderers who win a job must comply with the plan they submit and will be monitored by the contracting agency. We know that our infrastructure agenda is delivering a massive boost to the New South Wales economy.

The SPEAKER: Order! The member for Swansea will come to order.

Mr DOMINIC PERROTTET: We are not a reckless Government; we know that the taxpayers of New South Wales demand good value as well as excellent quality. Importantly, the Government's procurement policies are designed to support local jobs and local industry without compromising its obligations under international trade agreements and without exposing industry to international trade sanctions and tariffs. Those trade agreements were negotiated under both Labor and Liberal governments.

The SPEAKER: Order! I call the member for Swansea to order for the first time. She will cease interjecting.

Mr DOMINIC PERROTTET: Our agencies are not permitted to mandate the use of domestic content and supply under those agreements. I note that the tender restrictions arising from Australia's free trade agreements do not apply to defence-related procurement and consequently do not apply to the procurement of submarines. This Government's procurement policies, just like its $65 billion infrastructure program, is not about the short term; it is about the long-term future and the continued economic growth of our State.

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