Prime Minister Of Australia Julia Gillard
Victoria Premier Denis Napthine
Support For Workers And Regions Affected By Ford Decision
Victor P Taffa
Ford Australia’s announcement that it will cease manufacturing in Australia from 2016 makes this a distressing day for the company’s workforce, suppliers and the broader communities affected.
The Federal and Victorian Governments are working together to do everything we can to look after the interests of the Ford workforce, the automotive supply chain and the communities of Geelong and Broadmeadows in Melbourne.
Ford Australia has not announced any immediate job losses, giving workers time to plan their future and seek assistance in gaining new employment.
We will be contributing almost $40 Million to structural adjustment programs to support the economic development and diversification of the Geelong and northern Melbourne regions.
The Federal Government will contribute $30 Million and the Victorian Government $9 Million. We will be seeking a significant contribution to this effort from Ford Australia. We will work with all of the important stakeholders, including unions, local communities and business organisations to design programs that will generate new and exciting opportunities for jobs and investment.
We are confident in the strength and resilience of the people in this industry and workforce. The Federal Government will also support businesses and workers in the automotive supply chain by providing an additional $10 Million for the Automotive New Markets Program.
The Victorian Government will make a $2 Million contribution to support Victorian component suppliers. This Program has been successfully helping auto component makers to diversify and win business opportunities in new markets. This will build on existing Federal Government assistance for individual employees. It will help the Victorian local economies and the automotive component manufacturers who will be affected by Ford’s decision.
The existing Automotive Industry Structural Adjustment package will provide automatic access to Ford workers made redundant as a result of this announcement to the highest level of job services support.
The company remains committed to its Research and Development work in Australia. The engineers and designers at Ford Australia’s Melbourne Design and Engineering Centre are global leaders in their skills and innovation, as evidenced by the design of models that have proved successful all around the world. This world-class capability is recognised by Ford globally.
Ford Australia will continue to produce the Falcon and Territory to October 2016 and will continue to support these vehicles well into the future. No one buying these vehicles should be concerned that this decision will affect future vehicle servicing or availability of spare parts.
Ford Australia did not approach the Federal or Victorian Governments for any additional support to keep its Australian manufacturing operations going. As a company that has been operating since 1925 and has made such a significant contribution to Australia over many decades, both governments anticipate Ford Australia will make a significant contribution to the structural adjustment programs.
The Federal and Victorian Governments believe Ford Australia understands and will fulfil its obligations to employees and the communities around Geelong and Broadmeadows.
The Federal and Victorian Governments will continue to support Australian manufacturing, and the local car industry, as an important source of jobs, innovation and growth.