Debate resumed from earlier this day; motion of Mr LENDERS (Southern Metropolitan):
That this house notes that the Baillieu-Ryan coalition promised the people of Victoria in 2010 to ‘fix the problems’ and ‘build the future’ but has failed to successfully plan, build or deliver on its promise during the past two years, in particular —
(1) cost of living pressures on families have increased with higher taxes and charges levied by the Baillieu government, which is now the highest taxing and spending government in the history of the state;
(2) health services have been cut and promises that were made have not been delivered on;
(3) education services and school construction have been cut and promises that were made have not been delivered on; and
(4) after two years in office, the Baillieu government has no jobs plan;
and that this house calls on the Baillieu-Ryan government to plan for the future, build both infrastructure and human capital and deliver on its election commitments.
Ms TIERNEY (Western Victoria) — I rise to support the motion moved by Mr Lenders. I understand that quite a few members made contributions to the debate on this motion on a previous occasion as well as earlier today.
I believe the debate will continue after today. My contribution will focus on paragraph (4), which has to do with employment, job losses and this government’s vision for jobs or lack thereof.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics figures reflect that approximately 40 000 jobs have been lost in this state since the Baillieu coalition government took office. The November ABS statistics that came through not so long ago demonstrate that over the last six months Victoria lost more jobs than any other state or territory, and that in November Victoria lost more full-time jobs than any other state or territory. If that is not bad enough, the August statistics were particularly damaging for the electorate I represent. In August there were 12 400 jobs lost across the state, but of those, 10 100 jobs were lost in the Barwon-south western region. That is a phenomenal number of jobs that have gone.
Before this government came to power its election campaign was focused on fixing the problems. But I submit to the house that the only thing it has done is fix Victorian families to a post — a post that has no jobs and has reduced opportunities when it comes to education and skills — and at the same time as the cost of living is out of control. Those opposite need to hang their heads in shame, because they have been caught out sleeping over the last two-year period, which essentially has been a honeymoon period. Even more concerning is that they still do not have any plans, they do not have any vision and they do not have any future for this state.
It is now just over two years since the election of this government, and all I can say is that it is one thing to win government, it is another thing to do something with it. By doing nothing — except, of course, the slash-and-burn approach they have adopted — government members tend to just direct the blame elsewhere. That demonstrates that this government is incapable of doing the right thing.
The purpose of my contribution today is to inform the house of what really is going on in my electorate when it comes to job losses. My contribution today is not about talking down this state; it is this government that is taking down this state. In fact, this government has stood down this state.
It has stood it down to the point of atrophy.
Honourable members interjecting.
Ms TIERNEY — In my electorate of Western Victoria Region we have experienced the biggest full-scale job losses that can be remembered in living history. The story I am about to tell will not be palatable to those opposite, and they have already indicated that by their interjections. But like with most things, you need to confront the problem if there is to be a strategy and an attempt to search out solutions. Some members opposite may think that these are wild claims, but let the facts speak for themselves. The list I am about to go through is not an exhaustive list, but unfortunately it is an indicative list, and there are many small businesses that are not reflected in this list of job losses because they do not necessarily make major headlines in the newspapers; they go under the radar.
Let me start with the alphabet. I understand Mr Leane went through the alphabet earlier, but I will go through the alphabet to refer to towns in my electorate where there have been significant job losses. I will start with Ararat. At Bartco 20 jobs have been lost. At Avalon Airport 113 maintenance workers were told that their jobs were gone on 22 May. On 9 November 260 maintenance workers were told that they were no longer required.
In Ballarat the University of Ballarat TAFE estimates that 70 to 100 people will be leaving that institution. At IBM in Ballarat there were 120 job losses, although the government said there would be 150 jobs created. The fact is that there was a net gain of 30, not 150, which was the spin in the newspapers and electronic media.
In Ballarat at Combined Metal Industries around 60 full-time employees and 40 contract employees have lost their jobs.
In Ballarat again, at SP Treads 26 employees have had their jobs go, and at Mars 38 people have lost their jobs. Also in Ballarat, at UGL Rail there were 13 job losses, at SEM Fire and Rescue, 21 job losses, and at ICE Engineering, 6 job losses.
Honourable members interjecting.
Ms TIERNEY — That is six people and six families, Mr Dalla-Riva. I go to Colac — again, a demonstration of how the government does not care at all about workers and their families. At the Corangamite Catchment Management Authority, based in Colac, three people have lost their jobs because of budget cuts that this government has inflicted. At Cororooke at the Fonterra dairy factory 130 jobs will go. At Dick Smith in Geelong 25 jobs have gone, and at Chubb security 20 jobs have gone. At Alcoa there have been significant redundancies with respect to their restructuring process.
Mr Koch interjected.
Ms TIERNEY — The number has not been finalised, as Mr Koch well knows. At the Gordon TAFE 55 have already gone, and we expect another 72 will be on their way. There have been 240 job losses at the Ford Broadmeadows and Geelong factories.
At the Glenelg Hopkins Catchment Management Authority 7 jobs have gone, and it was state funding that triggered that. At Koroit at the Murray Goulburn factory 20 jobs have gone, and at the North Geelong Dick Smith store, 25 people. Mr Koch would know that in Portland both of the car dealerships that you see as you drive into that great city have been shut down. He would also know that 90 jobs at Keppel Prince have gone — and it is expecting another 10, making it 100 — and that approximately 45 contractors have also had their employment cease.
At the Queenscliff Marine Discovery Centre 15 highly skilled researchers and other staff have also had their jobs taken away. At Dahlsens in Sebastopol 24 people have also been told — just before Christmas — that they are not going to have a job.
In Stawell there has been the closure of the goldmine: 47 people have already gone, there is another group that will be going before Christmas and another significant group that will be going in June or July next year. That takes 150 jobs out of that fairly small community and that will have a devastating impact on that local economy.
When a public forum was called, not one government member chose to attend. The mayor and the CEO from local government chose to attend; they understood the importance of it. The manager of the mine and the head of human resources were also there. Do you know what they say? They say they cannot get Stawell on the radar of this government. They cannot get anyone on the phone; although they did say that Mr Rich-Phillips and Mr Ramsay were there the day before to make an announcement, which had been announced three times before, about funding of the regional airport to enable the so-called fly-in, fly-out proposition. The fact is that while the fly-in, fly-out proposition is a good one, it will only cater for a reasonably small number of people employed at the mine. There are a huge number of people employed at the mine who will not be able to, for a whole range of reasons — whether they be personal, skill-related or the types of jobs they do — afford that opportunity.
There has been no tailored response from this government in respect of Stawell. I put to the government that that has not happened in any of the cases I have experienced in terms of job losses in western Victoria — not once. When government members see an issue or a problem, they turn their backs on it and head the other way.
We have also seen 20 jobs lost at Quiksilver — —
The PRESIDENT — Order! That is not a point of order; it is a debating point.
Ms TIERNEY — Then there are the jobs in state departments and instrumentalities across the state that will also go. In the Department of Sustainability and Environment 400 jobs will go; in the Department of Human Services the figure is 500; in the Department of Police and Emergency Services 350 jobs will go; in the Department of Justice, 480; and in the Department of Primary Industries, 200 — and that will also mean the closure of the Casterton, Camperdown and Ararat offices. We also have 140 jobs going in the Department of Planning and Community Development, 400 jobs in the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development, 200 jobs in the Department of Health, 175 jobs in the Department of Transport, 450 jobs at VicRoads and 8 at the Department of Sustainability and Environment.
South West TAFE has had 43 jobs targeted, with 70 or more to go. At Sam’s Warehouse in Warrnambool 22 jobs will be going.
The PRESIDENT — Order! In accordance with standing orders we now go to statements on reports and papers.
Business interrupted pursuant to standing orders.