Shorten to announce $59 million “Manufacturing Transition Boost”

Opposition leader Bill Shorten will announce a $59 million plan aimed at easing the pain from the end of car assembly in Australia, which will start this year with Ford Australia ending production.

The Geelong Advertiser reports that Shorten will announce the “Manufacturing Transition Boost” in the area, where Ford has its engine, casting and stamping production.

Shorten’s office told The Adelaide Advertiser about the plan prior to the announcement, with the northern suburbs of the city to be hard hit by the closure of Holden’s Elizabeth factory next year.

“The Liberals goaded the car industry into closing down and deserting Australia, leaving Adelaide facing high unemployment and social dislocation,” he told The Advertiser.

“Labor is committed to maintaining the capabilities of Adelaide’s manufacturing industry — local expertise is too important to be thrown away.”

According to the news site, the transition plan will include about $2.5 million of Business Transformation Vouchers for about 50 of the state’s manufacturing businesses. The money would be matched by Victorian and SA governments (both Labor-led), he will say.

Shorten will be joined on the election campaign stop at Geelong by shadow industry minister Kim Carr, premier Daniel Andrews and MP Richard Marles.

The plan will be spruiked in Adelaide by Labor’s leader in the senate Penny Wong, shadow treasurer Chris Bowen, MPs Nick Champion and Tony Zappia, and SA AMWU secretary John Camillo, reports The Australian.