There is a perception that unions constantly pit themselves against conservative governments as a default. While at times this might be true, when it comes to the government response to the closure of Electrolux and several other central west factories, they might be on the money, or lack thereof.
Since Electrolux announced its closure there has been much discussion about financial assistance from all tiers of government to help the redundant workers find new jobs.
While bailout packages for companies can be divisive, most people would agree establishing a fund to help workers is money well spent.
Politicians of all tiers have warned against rushing a solution to plug the hole left by Electrolux and the other closures, which of course makes sense.
No one wants a half-baked effort with money poured into something that leaves the region in a worse predicament.
They have also, somewhat conceitedly, rolled out the favoured “it won’t happen overnight” phrase. It’s a statement that might be easier to swallow if it wasn’t for the fact the $100 million Holden package came just days after the company announced its closure.
In 2006, the federal Coalition unveiled a $35 million joint state and federal fund to help 500 workers left redundant by the closure of two Electrolux plants in Adelaide, the same day as the company’s announcement.
We have a year for the central west to adjust and plan, but it will go quick.
Other areas around Australia facing similar challenges will also be trying to attract new industries, meaning we need to move sooner rather than later.
Whether or not you see the inaction as a result of Calare and Orange’s statuses as safe seats will largely depend on which side of politics you stand on.
But with little movement since Electrolux’s announcement in October it’s no wonder unions and others are trying to look for reasons why we have been left in the dark.