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Engineering construction industry challenges Costello.



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Media Release

BOB McMULLAN MP

SHADOW MINISTER FOR INDUSTRY AND TECHNOLOGY

MANAGER OF OPPOSITION BUSINESS

MEMBER FOR FRASER

1 February 1999

 

ENGINEERING CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY CHALLENGES COSTELLO

 

The forecast decline by 20 per cent of activity in Austral ia’s engineering construction industry poses the first serious challenge for Treasurer Costello’s five per cent unemployment target, Shadow Minister for Industry and Technology, Bob McMullan, said today.

 

The decline is indicated in a study by BIS Schrapnel.

 

“There is no chance of the Government achieving an unemployment target of five per cent without addressing the forecast decline of 20 per cent in engineering construction,” Mr McMullan said.

 

“The Government has obviously entered a policy vacuum in the area of engineering construction.

 

“This sector has been boosted by the boom caused by the Olympics and a surge in engineering construction — this is now coming to an end and it requires an active response from the Government.

 

“The Labor Party had put forward a development allowance proposal at the last election that would have enabled industry to bring forward investment in major projects.

 

“The Howard Government has adopted Labor’s policy of a 5 per cent jobs target, and this is good — unfortunately it has demonstrated a total lack of a strategy to reach this target.

 

“Treasurer Costello’s words must be backed up with a comprehensive strategy to reach this target.

 

“Part of this strategy must be a comprehensive policy to encourage investment in major engineering construction,” Bob McMullan said.

 

Further information: Tim Benson (02) 6247 4396 or 0413 805 748

 

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