The betrayal of Australian Toyota workers by the Abbott Turnbull Government today reaches completion, as the final car rolls off the production line in Altona.
Over the last 70 years, the car industry played a critical role in providing advanced manufacturing jobs to hundreds of thousands of Australians.
The Abbott Turnbull Government decision to abandon the industry is devastating. It will curtail our ability to train and employ highly skilled workers into the foreseeable future.
The industry has been critical in supporting new migrants who came to Australia after World War II to build a life for their families, providing many people with valuable skills and a steady job.
The short sighted and damaging decision by Abbott-Turnbull government must be condemned in the strongest possible terms.
Quotes attributable to ACTU Secretary, Sally McManus:
“Today is a sad day for the workers at Altona. It’s shattering to see a critical, valuable industry, comprised of proud, skilful workers, abandoned by a government, on the basis of a broken ideology.
“The car industry demands continual innovation, with a new model each year, and creating highly skilled manufacturing workers. They’ve lifted the skills base of the entire manufacturing workforce in Australia.
“These workers have been betrayed. Advanced nations value their car industry and its workers. Allowing this industry to leave takes our entire country backwards.
“Smart countries understand that the car industries provide a hub of highly skilled, innovative workers. Smart countries do whatever they can to protect their car industry.
“We will continue to regret the decision of the Turnbull Abbott Government to jettison this industry for decades to come.
“You can import a car, but you can’t import a generation of people of who have built up critical skills over a lifetime in manufacturing. This is a great loss to our country and our economy.
“To all the workers who will be facing great uncertainty about their future, we stand with them, and will do what can be done to support their union, to help them retrain and become reemployed. We will not abandon them.
“And now, more than ever, it is urgent the Turnbull government comes up with a proper plan for the future of manufacturing in Australia.”