Get onboard the jobs train with Dan the man

The polls are tight, and in just six months Victoria could have a new premier. As the state election draws near, we take a look at the issues that will decide the election.

Victoria is working again

For most workers and their families, things are looking up in Victoria. Unemployment is on the slide down and major projects are going ahead. For electrical workers, that means jobs.

The Metro tunnel project is injecting $11 billion into the Victorian economy and will substantially free up rail congestion through a series of new tunnels and stations. Metro alone will deliver nearly 7,000 jobs for Victorians. 500 of those jobs will be for apprentices, trainees and engineering cadets. 1,100 jobs will also come in the metal and electrical trades to build the trains destined for the Metro tunnels. 

Jobs are also coming from the level crossing removals. Despite generating over 3,000 jobs, the removals are causing strife for Daniel Andrews in some communities along the politically important ‘Sand Belt’ from Bentleigh to Frankston. Local protestors claim the elevation of the rail has reduced their quality of life and lowered their property values. For others, the level crossing removal means a faster and safer drive to work. Time will tell if this project hurts or helps the Andrews government keep a hold of these politically changeable seats. 

Another contentious project being undertaken by Daniel Andrews is the $5.5 billion Westgate tunnel build. The tunnel is designed to provide a second crossing for cars and trucks, as the Westgate bridge becomes more congested. The tunnel’s critics claim the expensive project is a handout to toll operator Transurban and won’t alleviate congestion in the longterm, but local proponents in Footscray and Yarraville say the new road will get dirty trucks destined for the port off their streets. If the tunnel survives opposition from the Greens and Liberals, the Government says we can expect 6,000 new jobs for the workers of Victoria.

Voters remember the Liberals

While for some 2014 feels like a lifetime ago, for many Victorians, memories of the Liberals’ last time in government are still raw.

The Baillieu/Napthine era was marred by industrial strife and political scandal. Paramedics, teachers and TAFE staff all took industrial action to protest the Liberals’ funding cuts and pay freezes for public service workers. The Liberals also took on construction workers: banning union logos and stickers on state government jobs. (sound familiar?).

The final two years of the conservative’s rule made Victoria an international joke, as job creation ground to a halt and scandal took hold under Premier Ted Baillieu. Controversial Frankston MP Geoff Shaw threatened to bring down his own government unless the Liberals criminalised abortion, famously describing unborn babies as ‘tummy eggs’. Another Liberal, then-Planning Minister Matthew Guy, used his powers to rezone Fisherman’s Bend to allow for high-rises shortly after a key Liberal donor bought up the former industrial site. For whatever reason, Baillieu abruptly resigned as Premier. He’d had enough (and so had we!).

Finding the Liberals even more corrupt and useless under new premier Napthine than the man he replaced, Victoria’s workers ramped up our campaign to end ‘Nap time’. The concerted campaign had firefighters, paramedics, nurses, electrical and construction workers knocking on doors and asking the public to put the Liberals last.

On election night in 2014 a victorious Daniel Andrews declared that the Liberals were desperate to make the election about workers and unions – and it was. Andrews claimed the mantle of being there for the workers and our unions, and he set about putting Victoria’s people back to work. From scrapping the Liberals’ anti-protest laws to locking in penalty rates for holidays and requiring builders to use local steel on major projects, Dan the Man has been there for us ever since.

Victory could be up to the workers

With polls all over the place, Daniel Andrews’ reelection is no sure thing. It could come down to just a few seats and a few thousand voters. Our union wants to keep Daniel Andrews. We think he’s an exceptionally good Premier with a focus on the right areas. If we want a reliable future for work in this state – we need to keep the Andrews Labor major projects going.

In the coming months we’ll be asking all members to play your part in keeping the state moving by keeping the Andrews government. While not everyone has got ahead, things are looking much better overall than they did just four short years ago. 

Let’s get on board the jobs train with Dan the Man. Let’s keep Victoria working.