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Government must urgently front up with jobs plan

18 February 2014 By ACTU

With mounting job losses and the highest unemployment rate in over a decade, the Abbott Government needs to abandon its empty rhetoric and tell Australians where the new jobs are going to come from.

ACTU Secretary Dave Oliver said news today that Aloca will close its Point Henry aluminium smelter and rolling plant as well as its Yennora aluminium rolling plant in Western Sydney is devastating for two regions already doing it tough.

"This is devastating news for the 1000 workers and their families in Geelong and Western Sydney," Mr Oliver said.

"The loss of these jobs will hurt the economy and the impact will be felt right across the community.

"Every day workers in this country are confronted with more job losses, more jobs going offshore and continued inaction from the Abbott Government.

"In the last few weeks alone we've seen Toyota announce its closure and signal the end of local auto manufacturing and with it 50,000 jobs, 1500 jobs have gone at the Forge Group, Ford announced it will pull out of Australia earlier than expected and Mr Abbott stood by and did nothing to protect 3000 jobs at SPC Ardmona in Shepparton.

"This is all at the same time as Australia's unemployment rate has reached 6% - the highest it's been in over a decade.

"The Abbott Government needs to wake up to the fact that being in Government means cheap rhetoric and the blame game isn't good enough – they need to step up and take responsibility for creating jobs in this country.

"We know Australians are struggling with the cost of living and worried about job security but they're getting cold comfort from a Federal Government that has made clear it won't stand up for working people."

Mr Oliver said there were two urgent priorities to protect Australia's economic prosperity - one is job creation and the other is to avoid a slash and burn Budget with further cuts.

"If the Abbott Government serves up a slash-and-burn Budget in May as promised it will throw more Australians out of work and onto the dole queues," Mr Oliver said.

"Tony Abbott must urgently spell out a plan for job creation and back up his promise of one million new jobs within five years."

"Six hundred jobs must be added to the economy every day for Mr Abbott to fulfil his promise to create one million new jobs within five years. That's looking very unlikely."

Carla De Campo, 0410 579 575 and Eleni Hale, 0418 793 885

Contact Details
Name: David Smith, ASU National Secretary
Telephone: 03 9342 1400