Today, 2500 auto workers will lose their jobs as Toyota closes its assembly plant at Altona in Victoria.
On October 20, Holden will shut its Elizabeth plant, with an expected loss of nearly 1000 jobs overseas.
This is a sad day for these thousands of workers and their families, and it's a sad day for Australia.
The consequences of Malcolm Turnbull and Tony Abbott's determination to close Australia’s automotive industry are plain to see.
Their actions show the only jobs they've ever cared about are their own.
Today is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the impact of the shutdown of Australia's automotive industry.
Modelling by the University of Adelaide estimates that up to 200,000 jobs are at risk across the economy following the shutdown of this industry, with a $29 billion annual hit to GDP.
The shutdowns mean that motor vehicle production in Australia will cease after almost 70 years. The loss of an entire industry that is crucial to the wider economy is unprecedented.
This disaster did not have to happen. The car makers are closing because the Liberal Government goaded them to leave, not because the industry was unviable.
The Liberal Government’s decision was an act of economic vandalism, which will cost Australian taxpayers far more than it would have cost to keep the car makers here.
Other countries, including the US, Germany and Sweden, contribute much more than Australia per capita to their car industries.
The automotive industry has always been Australia’s great repository of capabilities in advanced manufacturing.
ABS data reveal that in the nine months to August 2017, nearly 30,000 jobs were lost in the manufacturing sector.
But instead of trying to reverse this trend, the Liberals are accelerating it.
Malcolm Turnbull has rejected the recommendations by the Senate inquiry into the future of the automotive industry, which were aimed at attracting new investment in advanced manufacturing.
Securing that investment will be crucial to creating new high skill jobs and securing Australia’s future as an advanced manufacturing nation.