Ford has announced it is to stop car manufacturing in Australia.
Twelve-hundred jobs will be lost by October 2016.
The shutdown is despite federal funding of $1.1 billion to the company, over the past decade.
Georgia Eather reports.
Ford announced this morning it will be closing its Geelong and Broadmeadows factories.
Ford President and CEO Bob Graziano says the company has lost $141 million in the past financial year with a total of $600 million in the past five years.
Bob Graziano, Ford President and CEO: “Manufacturing is not viable for Ford in Australia in the long term. Today’s announcement means that the way we are structured to australia remains strong.”
He says his employee’s entitlements will be protected and Ford will provide support for the next three years.
The government has promised to help the workers.
Julia Gillard, Prime Minister: “We will make sure that you are not left behind. The government will be providing the most intensive form of employment assistance that we can provide.”
Wayne Swan, Treasurer: “Our economy is effected dramatically by a persistently high Australian dollar which provides challenges for some industrial sectors.”
Opposition Leader Tony Abbott says under his government, Australia and its industries would be part of a first world economy.
Tony Abbott, Opposition Leader: “That’s what we and the coalition dedicate ourselves to today, to making it easier for manufacturing industry to survive and flourish in this country.”
Ford workers were stunned at the news.
Vox 1: “Obviously its affecting me but its also affected a lot of other people here. Its a sad day not only for the people who work for this company but also for this country.”
Vox 2: “I started here when I was eighteen years old and a very big shock for everybody, and a big shock for all the Australian public.”
Ford will still manufacture new Falcon and Territory models but production will stop in 2016.
Georgia Eather, QUT News.