The package announced today by Tony Abbott will provide little relief to workers still reeling from Holden’s decision to end local manufacturing and is further evidence that the Government doesn’t have a plan for jobs, say unions.
ACTU Secretary Dave Oliver said the industry assistance package has been hastily conceived and is hopelessly inadequate to deal with the challenges facing Australian manufacturing and the hundreds of thousands of jobs it supports.
“If Mr Abbott thinks $60 million is enough to counter the $21 billion blow he’s inflicted on the economy he’s wrong”, Mr Oliver said.
“This is a Band-Aid response by a Government looking for a quick political fix because they don’t have a plan for jobs.
“Tony Abbott and Joe Hockey ran Holden out of town and with it have cast a massive shadow over the 200,000 Australians who rely upon the automotive industry for work.
“Today’s announcement doesn’t come close to meeting the needs of an Industry that has been bought to its knees by the Abbott Government and demonstrates they have no idea how to support local manufacturing and give it a future.”
Mr Oliver said that there is nothing in this announcement that shows where new jobs will be.
“Mr Abbott says Holden workers can re-train and re-skill but for what jobs?”, Mr Oliver asked.
“Components manufacturers need more money and more resources to diversify but have also been left wanting.
“Mr Abbott didn’t offer Toyota any certainty today nor did he point to any specific projects that could create jobs such as fast-tracking a local design and construction submarine project in Adelaide.
“This is all on top of yesterday’s policy-light and blame-heavy response to the Midyear Economic and Fiscal Outlook that included savage public sector jobs cuts and news of rising unemployment.
“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, cut skills funding for trade training centres and get rid of the $10 billion clean energy finance corporation that would have created thousands of new high skilled, innovative local jobs.
“Once again Mr Abbott has shirked an opportunity to explain how he will ensure a robust jobs market in manufacturing and high end innovation and fulfil his election promise to create two million new jobs.”