Geelong manufacturers are being damaged by Labor’s policies, according to Shadow Industry Minister, Sophie Mirabella, and Liberal candidate for Corangamite, Sarah Henderson.
“Friday’s announcement of over 200 forced redundancies, as part of the loss of 330 jobs at Ford, is another tragedy for Geelong,” Ms Henderson said.
“Local workers believed Prime Minister Gillard when she said in January this year:
as a result of us making $34 million available to join with Ford in new investment to keep car manufacturing here, we’ll actually see the number of jobs grow. There will be an additional 300 jobs as a result.
“Instead, local jobs are disappearing almost every week under a Labor government that doesn’t seem to have any interest in implementing policies that encourage Australian industries rather than destroy them.
“As an industrial centre, Geelong already faces challenging economic conditions like a high dollar and intense import competition. Making a bad situation worse is a carbon tax and other out of control costs and regulations being imposed by the Gillard Government.”
Mrs Mirabella said it was unforgivable that Ms Gillard and the Member for Corangamite, Darren Cheeseman, had promised Ford workers in January that their jobs were safe until at least 2016, only for hundreds to be made redundant just months later.
“Mr Cheeseman is the Harry Houdini of ALP industry policy: he fronts up when new announcements are made or payments handed over to individual companies – but vanishes without trace when those announcements end in tears.
“During the last four years, 120,000 net jobs have been lost in manufacturing – with one disappearing roughly every 20 minutes since the announcement of the carbon tax.
“The Coalition is committed to a viable Australian car industry and, unlike Labor, the Howard Government enjoyed a proud record in presiding over increased employment, R&D, vehicle production, exports and productivity in the sector.”