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Transcript of interview with Wendy Kingston: Nine News afternoon edition: 6 October 2011: Future Jobs Forum, Bishop and Griffin

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Ministers' Media Centre Education, Employment and Workplace Relations portfolio

Nine News afternoon edition

Thursday 6 October 2011 Transcript

Senator the Hon Chris Evans [link:/evans]

Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, Jobs and Workplace Relations • Leader of the Government in the Senate •


ISSUES: Future Jobs Forum, Bishop and Griffin

WENDY KINGSTON: A fairer go for local companies. That’s the vow of the Government after the national jobs forum wrapped up just a short time ago. And for more on that, we cross to Workplace Relations Minister, Chris Evans, in Canberra.

Senator Evans, sorry about that and thank you for your time.

First of all, tell us how can the Government ensure that there’ll be a fairer go for local companies?

CHRIS EVANS: Well the prime minister’s announced a number of measures that are designed to make sure Australian companies get a better go at contracts that are coming out of the mining boom, that people who manufacture in Australia get to compete on a level playing field for those big contracts.

So we’re changing some rules regarding tariffs and contracts we award to the states to make sure that Australian companies get a better chance at those jobs and, therefore, are able to employ more Australians.

KINGSTON: Yeah, because we have heard from struggling manufacturing workers, a lot of them have lost their jobs, they can’t get another one. Tell us, how will these initiatives help them?

EVANS: Well it should see more work coming into the manufacturing sector in Australia so that’ll be a good thing. But there are, of course, workers still being thrown out of work, but there are new opportunities opening up as a result of the mining boom in other industries.

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So we have got to try and support manufacturing but also allow people to transition into other industries and other jobs. I mean overall, the prospects for the Australian economy are very strong and the job opportunities are very strong. It is just that we have got to make sure we manage the structural change in the economy.

KINGSTON: Now, Senator, speaking of jobs, Julia Gillard's is looking a little shaky again today. You’ve got Alan Griffin, you’ve got Mark Bishop outed as the men behind a push to get Kevin Rudd back in the top job. Will they be reprimanded and have they discussed this with you?

EVANS: Well I'm not sure that that’s right. What I do know is I’ve met with both of them in the last few weeks casually and neither have raised the issue with me. I think there’s very strong support for the prime minister in the caucus and I'm not aware of any moves against her.

KINGSTON: What do you think’s driving all this leadership talk?

EVANS: Well look, I don’t know. I mean this is media speculation, this is somebody making a claim but, as I say, nothing’s been raised with me. Caucus members I talk to say nothing’s been raised with them. I think the prime minister is secure in her position. She’s working hard on the future of Australia and I think she’s got strong support in the caucus.

KINGSTON: Alright. Chris Evans, thank you very much for your time this afternoon. We appreciate it.

EVANS: My pleasure.

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