Today’s decision by Toyota to end its Australian operations is a devastating blow for the thousands of Australian workers that rely upon the local auto manufacturing industry and represents a comprehensive failure by Mr Abbott to stand up for Australian jobs.

“Tony Abbott must tell Australians why he is not prepared to stand up for local jobs,” ACTU Secretary Dave Oliver said.

“The Abbott Government goaded Holden into leaving, they’ve done absolutely nothing to keep Toyota in this country and as a result Australia will lose up to 50,000 direct skilled jobs, $21 billion will be wiped from the economy and regions will go into recession.

“Mr Abbott promised one million new jobs within five years, that’s around six hundred new jobs every day but since he’s come to office, all we’ve seen are job losses.

“Mr Abbott’s self-titled new industry policy is driving jobs out of this country at a time when Australians are looking to their government for a jobs plan for the future of our nation.

“Mr Abbott had no trouble parading around in a hard hat and a high vis vest before the election but has turned his back on workers since becoming Prime Minister.

“Only last week Mr Abbott turned his back on 3000 SPC workers in Shepparton and gallingly, made a series of misleading claims when blaming the workers for the company’s demise.
“Over the past six months Australia has experienced the biggest fall in employment in over a decade, Australians urgently want action to protect and create local jobs.

“As growth softens and unemployment rises, what Australians are looking for is a Government with a plan to address job creation and strengthen the economy.

“Instead the Government’s answer is to savagely cut public sector jobs, do nothing as jobs are lost elsewhere across the economy, and go after penalty rates, wages and conditions.

“The loss of the automotive manufacturing industry in Australia will have far reaching consequences around the country and throughout the economy.