7 December 2015
Victorian unions welcome the Andrews Government’s announcement today of a transition plan to address the closure of automotive manufacturing in Victoria, but underscored the need for more economic and social support in Victorian manufacturing communities.
Victorian Trades Hall Council Secretary, Luke Hilakari, said the State Government’s plan would provide support to people who have been abandoned by the Federal Government’s deliberate destruction of the auto-industry in Victoria.
“The initiatives announced today by Minister D’Ambrosio and the Andrews Government are going to give confidence back to local people and local businesses”.
“The Victorian Government’s strategic investment in TAFE, job-search programs, and individualised assistance for workers is a step towards ensuring Victorian families and communities won’t be left behind.
“$7.5million for the Geelong region, for example, will be a major boost of confidence for locals, and they’re going to be wondering why Sarah Henderson, the Federal MP for Corangamite isn’t asking for similar results from the Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull”.
“Victorians want to see Government action to support workers, not the sort of disconnected, arrogant abandonment they’ve seen from the Federal Government” said Mr Hilakari
But unions also caution that more is needed to support communities affected by the auto manufacturing closures.
“People working in the automotive industry are going to get real support and training to help them manage, but they are still facing the destruction of their trades and livelihoods. It will take time for these communities to recover, and a lot more needs to be done.
“We do not want to see ghost towns arising in Victoria when we know the people there are smart, skilled, and ready to work. The State Government’s investment in local communities will support new jobs and new opportunities, but ultimately the Federal Government needs to follow the Andrews Government’s lead and come to the table with funding. After all, this is a national problem that the Federal Government has created”.
“We’d like to see the Federal Government take a hint from Victoria at how to support Australian families and communities. Or at least stop daring our industries to leave.” Said Mr Hilakari.