As the last Ford Falcon and Holden Cruze roll off the production line today, the Turnbull Government is committed to supporting workers during what is a difficult time for many staff and their families.
Already there has been significant partnership between all levels of Government to support workers during this period of transition.
In particular, the Federal Government’s $155 million Growth Fund is helping automotive workers transition to new jobs, and encouraging companies which have supplied the automotive sector to look to new markets and products.
While this is an end of an era, it’s also an opportunity to recognise the contribution Ford and its workers have made to Australia’s way of life for almost a century.
But this is not the end of Australia’s automotive industry.
Today marks the beginning of a new role for Australia’s auto sector in providing world-leading expertise in vehicle design, research, engineering and high-tech manufacturing.
Later this month I will be heading to the United States and Japan to send a clear message to the global headquarters of Ford, General Motors and Toyota that Australia is committed to the automotive sector and we have the workers and skills they need.
We are determined to ensure that despite its changing nature, Australia will continue to have a strong automotive industry in the future.
Ford has chosen to establish its Asia-Pacific Product Development Centre at Broadmeadows, keep the Research & Development Centre at Geelong and the Proving Ground at Lara, with an overall workforce of more than 1,600.
Ford will also to continue working with local component makers – including helping them earn business with Ford’s global operations.