It’s the beginning of the end for Australia’s car manufacturing industry.
Today, the last Australian-made Ford came off the assembly line, signalling the closure of its two Victorian plants.
Many workers wiped away tears – for some, this had been their lifetime job.
Jacob Miley reports.
A 91-year tradition is coming to an end…
Around 600 workers from Ford’s Broadmeadows and Geelong plants are tonight without jobs.
Many of those have spent their entire lives working for Ford.
The redundancies were announced three years ago and are now a reality..
Dave Smith, AMWU:”It’s going to be very difficult when guys wake up on Monday a part of their lives are finished.”
Ford will continue to operate In Australia but only in design and innovation and sales.. manufacturing finished with this mornings shift.
Worker 1: “Everyone is just devastated you know.”
Worker 2: “We had three years to think about it, when the announcement came we knew this day was coming, I suppose we need to move on.”
Most of the workers will receive redundancy packages of one hundred and fifty thousand dollars… and that’s some consolation.
For nearly 100 years, Ford has been part of Australian culture. One Brisbane mechanic bought his first ford 45 years ago, and he still owns it.
For him, it’s always been Ford.
Bob Taylor, Mechanic: “I’ve been to both Broadmeadows plant and looked at the Manufacturing and also down to Geelong the engine plant and seen how they make engines. So it’s a very sad day and a lot of people will be very, very sad.”
In a fitting celebration of the car and its Aussie legacy, Ford owners in gathered on the front of the Broadmeadows plant in a final salute today.
Jacob Miley, QUT News