The shock announcement that Ford is set to close its Australian manufacturing facilities in 2016 with 1,200 job losses is further proof that short-term, stop-gap government assistance for industry is an abject failure.
In January 2012, the Victorian and federal governments announced $34 million of assistance designed to secure the long-term future of Ford in Australia out to “at least the end of 2016”.
Six months after that, Ford cut 440 jobs in Australia. Not even 12 months after, Ford has now announced the complete closure of its manufacturing facilities.
Ford Australia President and CEO Bob Graziano said Ford will not return any of the $34 million taxpayer money.
The automotive manufacturing industry receives more than $1 billion in support per year from the Australian people to build cars in Australia.
Holden Australia announced in April that it alone has received $2.17 billion since 2000. Just one week after that, Holden announced 500 job cuts.
Cowan, S. (2013). It’s time to put the brake on corporate welfare. The Drum. Available http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-05-23/cowan—ford/4709208. Last accessed 19th Jul 2014.