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Monday, 9 February 2015
Page: 276

North Melbourne Regional Development Australia Report: Manufacturing

(Question No. 596)

Mr Kelvin Thomson asked the Minister for Industry and Science, in writing, on 14 November 2014:

(1) Is the Minister aware that according to the 2012 North Melbourne Regional Development Australia report Manufacturing in Melbourne's North: Now and into the Future, manufacturing is still the largest regional employer in Melbourne's north, employing 53,160 workers across the region, followed by health/social assistance with 48,791 workers, retail with 42,188 workers and education with 33,707 workers, totalling 382,967 workers in the region.

(2) Is the Minister aware of modelling by the National Institute of Economic and Industry Research (NIEIR) contained in the report, that forecast that the closure of the Ford Australia factory would result in 16,000 jobs being lost throughout Victoria after just one year.

(3) Is the Minister aware that NIEIR forecast that after one year, (a) 600 jobs would be lost in the City of Moreland, and (b) 1,600 jobs would be lost in the City of Hume.

(4) Is the Minister aware that the most strategically important and largest manufacturing industries in North Melbourne are (a) automotive (8,696 employees), (b) food (8,514 employees), and (c) chemicals (6,267 employees).

(5) Is the Minister aware that the latest Census Data shows that 5,911 people who live in the electoral division of Wills are employed in manufacturing, which accounts for 8 per cent of total employment locally, and that in the electoral division of Calwell there are 9,185 people employed in manufacturing, which accounts for 14 per cent of employment locally.

(6) What industry, re-skilling, and job opportunities will the Government invest in to help regenerate the local economy and job market in Melbourne's Northern Suburbs.

Mr Ian Macfarlane: The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

The Government is aware of the report on manufacturing in Melbourne's North and the challenges being faced in North Melbourne and other regions affected by structural change. The Government is also aware of the Census data on the share of manufacturing employment for the electorates of Wills and Calwell.

In relation to reskilling opportunities, the Government has in place a $476 million Industry Skills Fund (ISF) to address Australia's skills demand and that will help Australian businesses access training so that they are better placed to succeed in a rapidly changing economy.

It will deliver 200,000 training places and training support services over four years, starting in January 2015.

The Fund targets Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), including micro businesses (0 to 4 employees), which plan to up-skill and re-skill their workforces to better position themselves for growth opportunities.