Qantas maintenance jobs

12 November 2013

My adjournment matter is directed to the Minister for Employment and Trade, Ms Asher. It regards the recent news that hundreds of specialised workers' jobs will be lost with the closure of the heavy maintenance facility in Avalon in March 2014. The action I seek is for the minister to provide an explanation of what action the Napthine Liberal government has taken to try to protect the jobs of these highly specialised workers and keep these jobs in Victoria. It is disgraceful that so many jobs of such a highly specialised nature can be lost as Qantas decides to move its work to Brisbane or, more likely, offshore to South-East Asia.
It is devastating news for the workers at Avalon and their families - and I know many of them because I represented them over the years in my previous job - and also for the Geelong region. With the closure of Ford in 2016, Target shedding jobs and Shell looking to sell its refinery, this is yet another blow to jobs in and around Geelong. Without a plan for jobs, to protect them and keep them in the region, there is a worry that Geelong will become an economic ghost town - a city with less opportunity for its population and less hope for the future. Is this the legacy that the Napthine government wants to leave in the Geelong region? It is a legacy of arrogant complacency - of inaction, ineptitude and lack of empathy for workers and families who call Geelong home.
Under this government jobs in the Geelong region continue to be lost. Important and meaningful employment opportunities for local residents are being cut at a tremendous rate, and we are seeing little action from the Premier or his ministers in regard to protecting jobs in the region. This is why I ask that the Minister for Employment and Industrial Relations provide an explanation as to what action, if any, the government took to try to save these jobs at Avalon. Geelong and Victoria generally deserve better treatment from the government.