Ms TIERNEY (Western Victoria) — My adjournment matter is for the Minister for Employment and Trade, and it relates to job losses in Geelong. As the minister will be aware, last Friday, 8 November, saw yet another blow struck at Geelong as the decision by Qantas to make 300 of its employees redundant next year was handed down. On the same day Barwon Water announced that 53 jobs would go from its operations as it has made a decision to outsource certain services.
These announcements of job cuts in the Geelong region are the latest in a list which includes Ford, Alcoa, Target, Boral, the Queenscliff Marine Discovery Centre and Gordon TAFE, as well as the hundreds upon hundreds of public sector jobs slashed by the Napthine government. The Geelong region just needs direction and strong leadership and a plan for job growth.
On Friday morning journalist Jon Faine on ABC radio interviewed the new federal member for Corangamite, Sarah Henderson, about the Qantas decision. When asked about factors influencing the string of job losses in Geelong, Ms Henderson said that the region had been crippled by the carbon tax. Jon Faine then made the obvious point that the carbon tax has nothing to do with Qantas job losses because the work was moving to Queensland and not to a country that does not have a carbon tax. He also stated that Qantas had not mentioned that the carbon tax was a part of its decision. Ms Henderson then tried to explain that Holden had spoken out strongly against the carbon tax, with Jon Faine rebutting this assertion by saying that when former Holden CEO, Mike Devereux, was last in the ABC studio he had stated that the carbon tax was almost irrelevant. This kind of excuse-ridden, factually inaccurate, unhelpful rhetoric is consistent across the conservative side of politics in Victoria and the country.
However, the people of Geelong do not need or want excuses.
They certainly do not need or want excuses that are clearly wrong, as were those given by the member for Corangamite on Friday morning. The Geelong community needs a government, whether it be state or federal, that will stand up and have a go. It wants a political party that has a plan to create new jobs. Labor launched its plan in Geelong almost two weeks ago. What this needs — —
The PRESIDENT — Order! Again this is taking on the characteristics of a set speech, especially when it refers to what Ms Tierney’s party might do or should do. I ask Ms Tierney to move to the action she is expecting of the minister or the matters that she wishes to bring to her attention. I understand the substance of what she is bringing to her attention, but I ask her to move to that rather than discussing what the Labor Party might well have done.
It is needed, and the people of Geelong are looking for at least some direction from this government, which is failing to even comprehend what is going on in Geelong.