Members Statement: Automotive Industry

Mr NOONAN (Williamstown) (09:45:34) — Earlier this month marked a sad day for the Victorian manufacturing sector, with the closure of Toyota’s assembly line in Altona. This will be a difficult time for thousands of Victorians, many of whom have spent most of their working lives building motor cars and supplying component parts. This is a proud industry and, of course, a working industry.

I am proud to be a member of the Labor Party — a party that has always supported automotive manufacturing in Victoria and Australia. I am also proud that the Andrews Labor government has invested more than $100 million in targeted assistance for the automotive and manufacturing sectors. Flagship grant programs, including the Local Industry Fund for Transition and the future industries manufacturing program, have already supported more than 60 businesses and are expected to create more than 1100 jobs, the vast majority of which will be suitable for ex-auto workers.

The automotive supply chain transition program has also helped 45 businesses to identify new markets and, importantly, stay afloat. In addition, five dedicated skills and jobs centres have assisted more than 2000 auto workers with career services. All of this work stands in stark contrast to the Turnbull Liberal government, who have once again turned their backs on the auto workers and businesses and left them to fend for themselves in their hour of need.

I want to finish on a positive note by thanking the generations of workers and businesses for their outstanding service and contribution to an iconic Victorian and Australian industry.