Joint media release with the Hon Brendan O'Connor MP
Labor’s first concern is the Toyota workers and their families following the company’s announcement today of its future plans leading up to the cessation of manufacturing in Australia.
Labor commends Toyota for the support it is providing to workers throughout this difficult process.
Toyota’s efforts stand in stark contrast to the heartless approach being pursued by the Abbott Government.
Only yesterday, Treasurer Joe Hockey was boasting about how his Government has traded Australian manufacturing jobs for trade agreements.
Sadly, because of the Abbott Government’s savage cuts to industry programs, the 2,600 job losses at Toyota announced today are only the tip of the iceberg.
There are tens of thousands more jobs losses in the automotive industry still to come as a direct result of this Government’s outright hostility to manufacturing.
If the Abbott Government gets its way and strips $900 million in support from the Automotive Transformation Scheme this figure could run into the hundreds of thousands.
A cut of this magnitude would spark an early exit by the three automotive manufacturers and deprive workers and companies in the supply chain any opportunity to retrain and retool.
Independent modelling shows that 200,000 jobs will be lost as a result of the closure of automotive manufacturing and there will be a $29 billion hit to the economy.
Labor, together with crossbench Senators, has vowed to block these cuts in the Senate.
We are pursuing a positive plan for the future of the automotive industry in Australia through a year-long Senate inquiry.
Clearly the Abbott Government has learned nothing from the Victorian election; they continue to treat Australians and Australian jobs with absolute contempt.
Labor will fight for Australians jobs and industries and not stand idly by while the Abbott Government sends our high-tech jobs and industries offshore.
WEDNESDAY, 3 DECEMBER 2014