For those who missed it, Australia now has no industry policy and certainly no manufacturing policy. This is resulting in company closures and massive job losses.
Whilst Prime Minister Abbott and the federal Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Public Service, Senator Abetz, are making wild ideological pronouncements from Canberra, trying to blame workers and their unions, the Victorian Napthine government is simply standing by and allowing thousands of workers to join the dole queues. But it is hardly surprising. This state government handed over the driver’s seat to its federal colleagues long ago. The Napthine government simply has not been a strong advocate for industry and the Victorian economy — in fact the government was lost, and it still is.
Even with strong warnings, it failed to see what was happening in the car manufacturing sector.
It is this very weakness that has allowed Mr Abbott and the federal Treasurer, Mr Hockey, to run amok and wreck the manufacturing sector. The only thing the Premier has said in reference to the onslaught of job losses is, ‘Disappointing’. ‘Disappointing’ does not feed workers and their families, and neither do vacuous statements about a ‘plan B’. I am sure Shepparton workers will not be hoodwinked, and I am sure they know this government’s promises amount to nothing.
Look at Geelong: the committee that was formed to deal with the fallout of the Ford closure announcement has not met since Abbott and company were elected. Again, this Napthine government has done nothing, allowing its federal partners to run the show and doing nothing for Geelong families.
All I can say is that I call on the state coalition MPs to stand up for their communities and stand up for jobs.