Posted on 08. Feb, 2012 in News

The Baillieu Government must act now to protect the jobs of 600 Alcoa workers following today’s news that Alcoa’s Point Henry smelter was under review, the Leader of the Opposition, Daniel Andrews, said today.

Mr Andrews said Alcoa’s announcement was further evidence of the Baillieu Government’s failure to protect Victorian workers and lazy economic management.

“The Baillieu Government has taken a wrecking ball to Victoria’s reputation as Australia’s job creation engine room,” Mr Andrews said.

“First it was Heinz, then it was Toyota, Bosch and the banks – and now it’s Aloca.

“How many workers must face an uncertain future before Mr Baillieu comes out from hiding under his desk and confronts the challenges of protecting Victorian jobs and industry?

“How many iconic companies will leave this state before Mr Baillieu shows leadership and comes up with a plan to support industry and attract new investment?”

Mr Andrews said Victorians needed a Premier who stood up for jobs and protected Victorian families – not one paralysed by inaction and indecision.

“Every job that leaves this state is lost income for a family. It is also a blow to investment confidence in Victoria,” Mr Andrews said.

“Mr Baillieu must send a message that Victoria is open for business and deliver a comprehensive jobs and investment plan.”

Shadow Industry Minister Tim Holding said the Baillieu Government was asleep at the wheel while Victorian industry and business faced huge challenges from a high Australian dollar and a subdued global economy.

“Like all Victorians, I hope the review by Alcoa of the Point Henry facility does not result in job losses at that site,” Mr Holding said.

“But hope is not enough.

“Instead of protecting jobs, the Government is slashing employment in the public sector, and is reducing programs that support industry.”

Shadow Minister for Manufacturing Adem Somyurek said the Baillieu Government had also dropped local content requirements in government procurement. “Under Labor, Victoria was the job creation capital of Australia. In 2010,100,000 new jobs were created and in 2009, Victoria created 92 per cent of all full time jobs in the country.

In contrast, there are now 21,200 less people employed in the manufacturing industry since Mr Baillieu came to office,” Mr Somyurek said.

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