OPINION

St George Matters with Chris Minns: Time to build it here in NSW

In his first column for 2021 the member for Kogarah, Chris Minns (Labor), outlines his thoughts on why he believes it is time to start building things here in NSW.

The worldwide COVID -19 epidemic has hit our economy hard, but only the most partisan politician would lump the misery and difficult economic circumstances on the State or Federal Government.

With the job keeper stimulus support program ending in March and small business and business groups concerned that the end of the stimulus program will bring on a deep recession, the question for all of us is - how do we avoid a biting recession hitting hard in 2021?

Asian economies, the United States and the European Union, are focusing on building up their manufacturing sectors in preparation for tough economic terrain in 2021.

Regrettably, NSW is not.

In just the last few years the Department of Transport alone has organised for the construction of billions of dollars worth of trains in Korea and a massive multi-million dollar ferries in Indonesia and China.

Many of these billion-dollar manufacturing contracts were organised before COVID - 19 hit hard the same cannot be said of the Government's plan to replace the diesel bus fleet with an electric alternative. Each electric bus is worth more than 1 million and over 1000 will have to be built.

I worked hard on the Transport Committee of the NSW Parliament to mandate that these buses should be manufactured in Australia.

Unfortunately, I was voted down by the Government committee members.

It's time to bite the bullet and save our incredible manufacturing sector right here in NSW.

Our regions need it, and our economy demands it.

Chris Minns MP