The AWU Victorian Branch is in an epic battle to see the Victorian Government commit to using locally-produced steel on the first stage of the East West Link in order to secure up to 800 jobs and maximise the benefit of infrastructure projects for the community and the economy.
The union is calling for this to be the first step towards a comprehensive procurement policy to be enforced on the complete $27 billion infrastructure program announced by Premier Denis Napthine.
AWU Victorian Branch Secretary Ben Davis said more than 3,500 full-time jobs depended on the use of local steel in planned projects.
“Every $1 million of steel orders that go offshore cost seven local jobs,” Ben said.
“There’s also a cost to the community of $500,000 in tax not collected and welfare paid, and almost $1 million in value added activities that don’t happen.
“Foreign steel is no bargain for Victorians,” Ben said.