On 18 July 2007 the Ford Motor Company announced that it would close the Ford
engine plant in 2010. It was a dark day for Ford workers and a sad day for
Geelong. A question mark hung over Ford’s future, but with the change of
government in November 2007 hard work began on a new car plan, and on 20
November 2008 the world changed for Ford Geelong. The new president of Ford
Australia, Mann Burela, Premier John Brumby, Senator Kim Carr, Australian
Manufacturing Workers Union officials Ian Jones and Dave Oliver, along with
local Labor MPs, welcomed the news and celebrated with all Ford Geelong
employees the fact that Ford Geelong will continue to make engines beyond 2010.
This announcement will save 1300 jobs — 400 direct jobs at Ford Geelong and up
to 900 in the components sector and associated industries.
Geelong knows that this announcement is the result of really
hard work, responsive state and federal Labor governments, and robust
manufacturing industry partnerships. Geelong also knows that this great news
would never have occurred under John Howard’s watch.
The car industry in this country is now going through a serious
transformation. Whilst all this is occurring, members of the Liberal Party, on
the other hand, are still wandering around trying to figure out where their
starting blocks are. Presumably they have left them in a car boot somewhere.
They cannot find the key, nor can they find the key to a good manufacturing