Federal Government Adds $40m To Car Industry Growth Fund Photo:

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Tony O'Kane | May, 02 2014 | 0 Comments

The Abbott government has committed an extra $40 million to its car industry growth fund, taking the total to $100 million.

The fund is intended to assist workers employed in vehicle manufacturing find new jobs, as well as assist component manufacturers with finding new customers once Ford, Holden and Toyota cease local production.

A further $55 million will be contributed to the growth fund by Holden and Toyota, as well as the Victorian and South Australian governments.

The Australian Manufacturing Workers Union has already declared the $155 million growth fund inadequate, claiming that roughly $1.5 billion would be needed to properly retrain the 27,500 workers that are expected to lose jobs.

Ford was the first to announce its planned exit from Australian manufacturing in May last year, with approximately 1160 workers to be made redundant at its Broadmeadows assembly plant and Geelong engine plant.

And of that number, around 300 Ford employees will already be redundant by June this year as production is scaled back to match demand for the locally-built Falcon and Territory.

Holden announced late last year that it will also be pulling the plug on its Elizabeth assembly plant in South Australia and Port Melbourne engine plant in Victoria in 2017, ending production of the iconic Commodore and putting 2900 line workers out of a job.

Holden will retain around 200 design and engineering staff, with the latter to continue producing localised suspension and steering tunes for imported Holden vehicles.

Toyota will also shut the doors at its Altona plant in 2017, with around 2500 employees to be made redundant.

And beyond those employed directly by car manufacturers, there are thousands more employed by second and third-tier parts suppliers in Australia.

Official government estimates say 27,500 workers will be directly impacted by the auto industry shutdown, but organisations like the Australian Industry Group say the true number is closer to 45,000.

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