The coalition government has given up on the manufacturing industry, Opposition Leader Bill Shorten says.
He made the comment after news that 300 Ford workers in Victoria will lose their jobs by June as the company looks to cease local manufacturing by 2016.
Mr Shorten said he heard the “dreadful news” and called on Prime Minister Tony Abbott to take action.
“When will you start fighting for people’s jobs, instead of the jobs of LNP politicians?” Mr Shorten said at a press conference in Brisbane.
The Labor leader said manufacturing was a viable industry in Australia if the government supported it.
“It seems to me the Abbott government has thrown up its arms and given up fighting for Aussie jobs,” he said.
“I know that we can’t keep every job here, I live in the real world, but what I don’t accept is the government of Australia saying ‘we’re not even going to try fighting for Australian jobs and Australian manufacturing’.”
About 300 workers at Ford manufacturing plants in Geelong and Broadmeadows, in Melbourne’s north, will be affected.