House debates

Monday, 14 July 2014

Statements by Members

Indi Electorate: Manufacturing

1:48 pm

Photo of Cathy McGowanCathy McGowan (Indi, Independent) Share this | | Hansard source

My sympathy is with the 60 workers who found out suddenly last Friday that their jobs with major Wangaratta manufacturing business Bruck Textiles have been lost. This news was a devastating blow for these workers and their families, who now face an uncertain future. Our challenge is to get these people back into work as soon as possible.

I call on the Wangaratta community to rally behind these 60 people and their families. I know the community is a caring one and the support agencies, service groups and welfare organisations will do what they can to relieve the stress these people are experiencing. They also need government support and I will be meeting with the offices of the Minister for Industry and the Minister for Employment, requesting that the federal Fair Entitlements Guarantee Scheme process be fast-tracked so that these people can receive their due entitlements.

The restructuring at Bruck is another demonstration of the enormous change that manufacturing is undergoing. Bruck say they had no choice but to cut the uncompetitive aspects of their operation, and have committed to a long-term future. They have given an assurance this is not a short-term fix, and that manufacturing will continue from the Wangaratta factory for the foreseeable future. But I call on my colleagues in government that we need a long-term manufacturing plan for rural and regional Australia.