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Ford workers deserve better from the opposition

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THE HON GREG COMBET AM MP Minister for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency Minister for Industry and Innovation


GC 208/12 17 July 2012


The Federal Coalition has reached a new low, with shadow environment spokesperson Greg Hunt taking up Tony Abbott’s fear offensive and blaming the jobs announcement by Ford on the carbon price.

Contrary to Mr Hunt’s claims, today’s announcement by Ford has nothing to do with carbon pricing.

Ford has made it very clear to me that their decision is due to the company needing to restructure its production in response to changing consumer preferences, away from larger cars towards more fuel efficient vehicles.

The domestic automotive industry has been under significant pressure from the high Australian dollar, competition from imports and changing consumer sentiment, which has led to a 10 year decline in large car sales in Australia.

To use today’s announcement by Ford in such a cheap and cynical manner demonstrates that the Coalition are only capable of reckless and destructive negativity.

Mr Hunt should apologise to the workers and families affected by today’s announcement.

Unfortunately however, this does not come as a major surprise, given the Coalition has no positive agenda for the automotive industry.

The only plan the Coalition has is to rip $1.5 billion in Government support from the automotive sector - putting at risk tens of thousands of jobs, if not the entire industry.

Unlike the Coalition, the Gillard Government will support the workers and families affected as Ford restructures its operations to continue producing vehicles in Australia into the future.

Any workers made redundant from Ford’s Broadmeadows and Geelong plants will be eligible for immediate access to intensive employment support through Job Services Australia - under the Automotive Industry Structural Adjustment Program.

Media contact: Gia Hayne 02 6277 7920