Today's announcement by Ford is distressing news for the employees and their families.
The Victorian Coalition Government will be working with Ford to ensure that the affected workers have access to appropriate assistance, such as Ford's outplacement support services and the Coalition Government's Workers in Transition Program.
Ford has indicated that it needs to reduce production levels to match current consumer demand, particularly for the Falcon.
The company advises this restructure is necessary to ensure the future of the business. As a result, Ford has announced plans to reduce its workforce by up to 440 jobs by November through voluntary redundancies.
I understand that the reduction in its workforce will be shared equally between its Geelong and Broadmeadows manufacturing facilities.
Ford's announcement reinforces yet again the challenges facing automotive manufacturing in Australia as well as globally, with a high dollar, intense global competition and changing consumer preferences.
Despite this announcement, Ford has confirmed that it is still fully committed to manufacturing in Victoria and to the $103 million investment in the 2014 upgrade of its Falcon and Territory range.
This new investment was announced in January this year, with the support of the Victorian and Federal Governments.
The Coalition Government remains strongly committed to an internationally competitive manufacturing sector in Victoria.
The Coalition Government announced in the May Budget a $58 million strategy to support manufacturers in upgrading their technology, improving production processes, and diversifying their product and customer base, with a strong emphasis on capturing new opportunities in the growth markets of Asia.
The Coalition Government will also continue to work hard with Ford, the other major car makers, and hundreds of components manufacturers across the state to ensure this vital industry remains competitive, and can continue to generate investment and jobs.