Minister for Employment & Workplace Relations Bill Shorten has today said the news from Target this morning was disappointing.
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.
However, the resilient Geelong community including Target employees can be certain that the Gillard Labor Government has their back.
The Government recently announced the addition of the Geelong region as a Priority Employment Area.
This means affected employees will have access to intensive job support from a dedicated Local Employment Coordinator.
This is in addition to the Government's tailored employment services, financial counselling and a Jobs and Skills Expo.
The Government is well aware that despite strong fundamentals in our economy, there are pressures facing jobs in certain industries and regions around Australia.
That is why the Government has made a number of announcements to support jobs in the Geelong region.
This includes an additional $30 million in structural adjustment programs to support industry, together with $9 million from the Victorian Government.
The Gillard Labor Government has also announced that the head office of DisabilityCare Australia will be located in Geelong. This will create around 300 new jobs once DisabilityCare is fully rolled out from 2019-20.
The Government welcomes the commitment from Target that all employees will receive their full entitlements as well as career transition support.
I also welcome the commitment from Target to explore redeployment opportunities for employees wherever possible.
I encourage Target to take a long-term view of their business activities and invest in up-skilling, retraining and outplacement support for these employees.
The Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations will continue to work closely with the company and the relevant Victorian Government Departments to provide information to affected workers about the support available to them.
Any workers who have questions about the services available to them can contact 1800 805 260