Posted on 23. Jan, 2012 in News

The announcement today that 350 workers at Toyota in Altona will lose their jobs is another reason why the Baillieu Government must develop a plan to create jobs and boost the Victorian economy, the Shadow Industry Minister Tim Holding said today.

“These job losses are devastating for workers at Toyota and in Melbourne’s western suburbs, and for their families” Mr Holding said.

“While Ted Baillieu plays the part-time Premier, there are now hundreds more workers and their families facing an uncertain future and wondering how they will pay their mortgages.

“These job losses won’t just hurt Victorian workers; they will impact on their families, the community and the state’s automotive industry.

“At the very least, the Baillieu Government must urgently provide affected workers with support to retrain and seek other work, as well as financial counselling and planning.”

Mr Holding said the Premier’s failure to deliver a jobs plan was hurting Victorian workers.

“Thousands of Victorians work in our automotive industry and the loss of hundreds of Toyota jobs will have a significant impact on the sector and the families who depend on it,” he said.

“These job losses will flow on to automotive parts manufacturers.

“We understand there are national and international factors affecting the economy, but the State Government has a special responsibility to support jobs and promote investment in Victoria.  Under Labor, Victoria was the powerhouse of jobs creation in Australia.

“Mr Baillieu’s failure to deliver a jobs plan to create and retain jobs and invest in the ongoing growth of the Victorian economy jeopardises the strong position that Victoria built over the last decade.

“If the Premier doesn’t wake from his year-long slumber soon, more jobs will be lost.”

When in Opposition, the-then Victorian Liberal Shadow Minister for Manufacturing Ryan Smith attacked the Labor Government’s support for manufacturing of the Toyota Hybrid in Altona, branding it nothing more than an “experiment”.

Just as the federal Liberal party remains divided over the question of support for advanced manufacturing in Australia, it’s clear that the same divisions exist in Victoria.

“Victoria’s manufacturing industry is the state’s largest employer, and under the Baillieu Government more than 20,000 jobs have already been lost from the industry.”

Member for Altona Jill Hennessy said the job losses would have a significant impact on the community.

“Ted Baillieu has let down workers and their families in the western suburbs,” Ms Hennessy said.

“The western suburbs have been hit with significant job losses during the past few months, and yet the community is still waiting to hear from the Premier about how he will support the area.

“Being Premier is more than just governing for Liberal-held seats – it’s about ensuring all communities are supported.”


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