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ACTU’s bold jobs plan unveiled

The Australian Council of Trade Unions has unveiled a bold “job creation strategy” and a proposal to overhaul procurement rules related to government tenders.

ACTU secretary Sally McManus told Neil Mitchell governments can use the tender process to protect and create secure jobs in Australia.

She said too often tenders were awarded because they were the cheapest.

Neil: It’s not always the cheapest, you give it to the best tender regardless of where it’s from.

Ms McManus: Usually it is the cheapest.

The plan includes:

  • A new set of procurement guidelines for government departments awarding contracts and tenders – preferencing Australian companies, those who employ enough women, apprentices, Indigenous Australians
  • Advocating taxpayer money be used to support the wider economy on a loan scheme basis for businesses
  • Ideas to create more secure jobs and ender the gender pay gap

But Neil questioned the merits of government loans to help prop up the private sector.

Neil: Explain to me why governments should fiddle in the world of business and use taxpayer money to fund operations that may or may not be successful, that will end in tears.

Ms McManus: We think leaving it entirely to the free market ends in tears too.

Neil: So you don’t approve of the free market?

Ms McManus: We think it leaves people behind, we should be smart about it and plan for the future.

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