Posted on 14. Mar, 2012 in Victoria

The Minister for Manufacturing needs to stop hiding behind glossy brochures, meaningless statements and endless inquiries and start making decisions to assist the Manufacturing sector in this state, Adem Somyurek MP, said today.

“The situation at Alcoa is a case in point,” he said. “While the Minister was grandstanding about a Ministerial taskforce being appointed to look into the situation, today in Parliament we learnt that the Taskforce involves a couple of MPs attending a meeting or two.

“I am not sure when attending a meeting became the definition of a taskforce, but it is yet another example of this Government hiding behind managerial gobbledegook to disguise the fact it is actually doing nothing,” Mr Somyurek said.

“The Minister admitted today that no substantive progress has been made to save the 600 jobs of Alcoa workers. Here we have a weak Minister in a State Government with no commitment to the manufacturing sector at a time when strong leadership and decision-making is sorely needed,” he said.

Mr Somyurek said the situation for Victorian manufacturers will continue to worsen under the Baillieu Government as the devastating impact of TAFE cuts begin to further impact the skills shortages already being experienced. “In Question Time today, I asked a very clear question about the effects that the doubling of apprenticeship fees and the axing of jobs throughout the TAFE sector would have on specialist skills shortages in this state.

“The Minister was totally clueless. He just did not know what the effects are going to be.

“This is amazing given that in the Baillieu Government’s manufacturing statement ‘A More Competitive Manufacturing Industry,’ skills are nominated as crucial for supporting the manufacturing sector.

“Yet while the Minister is happy to spruik this document in Parliament he fails to acknowledge the adverse effects the cuts to TAFE made by his Government will have on manufacturers.

“At the very time than manufacturing is under more pressure than ever before, an important avenue to keep local businesses competitive is by providing quality training through our TAFE system. The Government’s position on skills training is indefensible and the Minister knows it.

“This is a Government keen on catchphrases, slogans and spin but thin on detail and substance.

“Victorian manufacturers have had enough of excuses, pointless inquiries, bland statements, neat platitudes, and sham taskforces.

“It is time for the dithering Minister to stand up, advocate for the needs of our local manufacturers, make some decisions and actually do something.”


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