The Gladstone region – 550 km north of Brisbane and containing one of Australia’s biggest ports, Port of Gladstone – has a fifth of its population employed in manufacturing. Rio Tinto’s aluminium operations are a big local employer.
“Currently we're failing to ensure that enough Australian content is being used in mining sector projects during the current boom,” Bastian told the Gladstone Observer.
Bastian also said during his visit that more needed to be done in terms of governments procuring from Australian manufacturers, invest in skills and infrastructure, and combat foreign dumping.
“The opportunity exists now to develop a national plan to secure existing jobs, create new Australian jobs, build skills in trades and a thriving industry in the future.”