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Tuesday, 22 October 1974
Page: 1831

Senator BAUME - My question is directed to the Minister representing the Minister for Labor and Immigration. I refer the Minister to recent newspaper reports that the motor vehicle component manufacturer Borg- Warner (Australia) Ltd last week retrenched 205 employees from its Fairfield plant in Sydney, making a total of 380 persons retrenched in Sydney since mid-August. Can the Minister confirm that Borg- Warner also retrenched 72 employees in Albury 6 weeks ago and that a further 84 employees were retrenched in the same city last week? Can the Minister give assurances that companies like Borg-Warner can survive to oner the employment opportunities so necessary in Sydney and in growth centres like Albury-Wodonga? Is it a fact that there can be no growth centres without adequate opportunity for employment and that the whole program of decentralisation is threatened by today's widespread unemployment?

Senator BISHOP -I think that the part of the honourable senator's question which deals with retrenchments or redundancy of some employees of Borg-Warner (Australia) Ltd comes largely within the responsibility of the Minister for Manufacturing Industry, and Senator Wriedt in this chamber represents that Minister. The question refers to displacement and to industrial changes. The Minister for Labor and Immigration is concerned first with the employment prospects of people who might be retrenched or who have been retrenched and, secondly, with whether they could come under the respective schemes being promoted by the Minister. I cannot give any particular information in relation to the position of Borg- Warner; I will try to obtain it. As to whether the employees might be employable in other areas, I can only say that as the honourable senator would probably know, Mr Cameron presides over an ad hoc committee of Ministers whose aim is to set up regional employment schemes where possible. Whether the speculation the honourable senator makes as to regional displacement concerns that ad hoc committee I do not know. I will find out whether an application has been made and I think I should talk to my colleague Senator Wriedt in connection with the industry to see whether we can provide some more information.

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