Ms TIERNEY (Western Victoria)– My adjournment matter this evening is for the Premier, and it is in relation to the 260 jobs that have been cut at Target’s Geelong headquarters today. Target workers in Geelong had been on edge for over a week, since Target announced that it would be seeking job cuts, but it was only today that many workers learnt that they were no longer required. Many others saw family, friends and colleagues lose their jobs.
As I understand it, having spoken with Ingrid Stitt today and with one of the Australian Services Union shop stewards at the National Celtic Festival in Portarlington on Sunday afternoon, the workers at Target headquarters are like an extended family.
People look out for each other and have very close bonds, so for those who are losing their jobs today it will be incredibly heartbreaking and difficult, as it will be for their families, but it will also be difficult for the colleagues they leave behind.
Of course the emotion was felt in the car park at headquarters today, and it has been conveyed on TV screens across the nation. It is clear that there will be a massive upheaval in many people’s lives. The jobs that will be directly affected number 216, and a further 44 people who are contractors will not have their contracts renewed. This comes on top of other job blows that Geelong has suffered in recent times. It was only on Wednesday of the last sitting week that I spoke in this house on at least two occasions about the Ford announcement, and many people who are affected by that announcement have family and friends who are also affected by today’s announcement, so the combined impact of job losses on the family pocket will be significant.
This news comes on top of what we heard earlier this week about job losses at another iconic Geelong company, Godfrey Hirst Carpets, which was also covered in the Geelong Advertiser on Monday. We have also seen Qantas job losses and uncertainty around Shell and Alcoa jobs. The action I am seeking tonight is for the Premier to demonstrate leadership and create a comprehensive jobs plan that is focused on securing and creating jobs in regional cities such as Geelong. I also call on the Premier to outline the processes and specific programs he will put in place to support the recently retrenched workers at Target in Geelong.