Ms TIERNEY (Western Victoria)– My adjournment matter this afternoon is directed to the Minister for Manufacturing, Mr Hodgett, and it is in relation to the future of vehicle manufacturing in this state. Members would be aware that the vehicle industry is in an extremely difficult situation. We are all aware of the Ford Australia announcement to close its manufacturing operations in Geelong and Broadmeadows, which will lead to thousands of people losing their jobs. In recent weeks Holden has also indicated that it is in a critical situation and is seeking assistance. It is a publicly reported fact that the future of Holden’s engine plant at Fishermans Bend is in serious doubt.
In an attempt to understand what the position and the commitment of the manufacturing minister are in relation to the vehicle manufacturing industry, what his views are and what action he has taken, I have looked at Hansard.
Quite frankly, I have been taken aback by the fact that Minister Hodgett has made hardly any comments about manufacturing, and in terms of vehicle manufacturing I can find only one reference. He has not mentioned the word ‘Ford’ once — not once — let alone the Ford announcement or the consequential job losses. The only mention of the car industry is a passing reference to 100 redundancies in Victoria from Holden’s operations. It was one paragraph, and it was by the way of, ‘By the way’, and that is it; that is all we have seen from the Minister for Manufacturing.
The action I seek from the minister is for him to outline in writing the actions he has taken to maintain and secure vehicle manufacturing in this state. In particular I seek information on what his position is, what his commitment is in relation to the attention of large vehicle manufacturing in this state as well as the auto components sector and the auto retail and services sectors, and what he has done since becoming minister to secure their ongoing operations.
In particular, given the urgency of the issue, I seek detailed information on what meetings, measures and actions he has taken to secure the future of the Holden engine operations at Fishermans Bend.