Toyota decision to close Altona unit hits local workforce; Jill Hennessy speaks out

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Toyota’s announcement on Monday that it will cease manufacturing vehicles locally by 2017 and in turn close the Altona Manufacturing Plant is devastating news for the community, Member for Altona District Jill Hennessy said.

“This is devastating for Toyota’s workforce and workers’ families,” Ms Hennessy said.

“The decision will also hit our local economy hard, affecting many local businesses and community groups who are supported by Toyota,” she said.

“Today’s decision marks the end of local vehicle manufacturing in Australia and will impact tens of thousands of workers across Victoria and the entire country,” she added.

Ms Hennessy said she was particularly worried for local components businesses that rely on Toyota for work as these are workers who were abandoned by the Federal and State governments.

“I call on the Napthine Government to support Toyota’s workers and those dependent upon Toyota, who tonight are facing redundancy and an uncertain job future in a fragile economy. This is a particularly stressful time for many workers and their families,” Ms Hennessy said.

She has urged the government to develop a comprehensive support and transition plan for the workers and address the impact of Toyota’s decision on the entire economy in Melbourne’s west.

“The west is home to many workers who rely on the auto and related components industries for their livelihoods. The wider impacts of the decisions by Ford, Holden and now Toyota to cease manufacturing will have far-reaching effects on our local economy. The manufacturing industry is one of the most important employers of people in the western suburbs. The government must do more to protect and grow local manufacturing jobs,” Ms Hennessy said.

“My heart goes out to Toyota’s entire workforce,” Ms Hennessy added.

Published in The Indian Sun (Indian Newspaper in Sydney)

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