Govt supports Geelong after Target announces job cuts
THE people of Geelong have been told the Federal Government "has their back" after Target announced it was axing almost 250 jobs from its support centre in the town.
It comes just weeks after Ford announced it would close its manufacturing plant in the town from 2016, putting almost 1200 people out of work.
On top of the job losses in Geelong, 18 positions will go at Target's regional support locations in four states.
Target managing director Stuart Machin said the restructuring decision was difficult but necessary to get the business on a "sustainable path to growth".
"This is an extremely difficult time for our team, and, unfortunately, we'll be losing many great team members," Mr Machin said.
"With our sales and profit under-performance over the past 12 months, we have needed to act in order to get our costs under control and the right store support structure in place."
He said the affected employees would receive their full entitlements and have access to support and information services.
Target will also explore redeployment opportunities for sacked workers.
Federal Workplace Minister Bill Shorten said he was disappointed with the decision.
"This is particularly bad news for the 260 affected Target employees, their families and more broadly, the Geelong community which has received more than its fair share recently," Mr Shorten said.
"However, the resilient Geelong community including Target employees can be certain that the Gillard Labor Government has their back."
In the wake of the Ford decision the government took a number of steps to help the Geelong region.
This included committing tens of millions of dollars to structural adjustment programs to support industry and adding the Geelong region as a Priority Employment Area, which means affected employees have access to intensive job support from a dedicated Local Employment Co-ordinator.
Prime Minister Julia Gillard also announced the head office of DisabilityCare Australia would be located in Geelong, creating 300 new jobs once the scheme is fully rolled out from 2019-20.