Bill Shorten Pledges Millions for WA Mining Research Centre

Federal Opposition Leader Bill Shorten says Labor will go halves with the WA Government and other parties on a new $46 million research centre for mining in Perth.

The Australian Future Mines centre would see the CSIRO, Australian Academy of Sciences, universities and industry help map the nation’s resources.

Mr Shorten said two-thirds of the country’s resource stocks were unknown.

“We can actually find out what our future is in terms of resources in this country,” he said.

“WA is a mining colossus … with 11 per cent of the Australian population, WA contributes 40 per cent of our exports.”

The man running for prime minister said it would also provide 50 mining engineering scholarships worth $20,000 each for Australian students at WA universities.

Premier Mark McGowan said the State Government would look to the private sector and universities first to see what they could contribute to building the facility and did not give a number for how much it would give.

Mr Shorten also announced $4.85 million to establish three disability and aged-care vocational education centres at TAFE campuses in Joondalup, Rockingham and Mount Lawley.

“There are 10,000 (aged-care and disability) jobs in the west which we are going to need to be fill and I want to see Western Australians fill these positions,” he said.

Mr Shorten and Mr McGowan made the announcements following a joint meeting of the State and shadow cabinets.

Both men defended using the taxpayers’ dime to fly the entire shadow cabinet to Perth for the gathering.

The Opposition Leader said politicians could not work out WA from the east coast.

“You have got to be on the ground,” Mr Shorten said.

Mr McGowan said it was a “great thing” the State was getting its time in the spotlight and funding commitments.

“The whole shadow cabinet have come to WA which is great … this (attention) is what we’ve been looking for, for so many years and it is now coming to fruition,” he said.

“They very well could be the (next) government.”


Source: The West Australian, 20 March 2019