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Job losses in Aussie

Written By: - Date published: 1:50 pm, January 23rd, 2009 - 17 comments
Categories: articles, australian politics - Tags:

Across the Tasman Kevin Rudd’s plea for employers to save jobs has fallen on deaf ears, with some of Australia’s biggest companies (mining, retail and automotive sectors) announcing plans to axe jobs.

BHP Billiton, the world’s biggest miner and Australia’s top profit earner, will lay off about 3300 Australian workers — 8 per cent of the total [BHP workforce] â€” and another 2700 overseas following dramatic falls in commodity prices…Retail giant David Jones has also announced mass lay-offs in response to a poor Christmas and concerns that sales will plummet nearly 10 per cent in coming months…. The woes in the car sector have also deepened, with CSR to shed 115 jobs at its Geelong and Laverton automotive glass plants and production to stop from June.

Co-incidentally the Guardian have some visual imagery of the stockpiling of cars that’s occuring due to reduced demand.

17 comments on “Job losses in Aussie”

  1. gingercrush 1

    If you’re a New Zealander working over there at the moment, you sure must be worried. Any small town in New Zealand have seen a number of families move over to Australia.

  2. Just watch the stats for people going to aussie fall, and more people come back from there and Europe as they lose their jobs. And just watch National claim that as a great victory.

  3. Rex Widerstrom 3

    BHP have a lot to answer for. The Ravensthorpe nickel mine (the major closure in Australia to date, though a mine in Queensland is being talked about as a further casualty) was always marginal, even during the boom.

    Something to do with China be able to mine nickel pig iron (which is a cheaper alternative in the manufacture of stainless steel… I think…) since about 2006.

    Yet BHP pushed ahead with the $2 billion Ravensthorpe project and even went as far as to convince its workforce to move there rather than fly-in/fly-out. As a result hundreds of homes were built, small businesses grew up to service them, and councils struggled to provide infrastructure.

    WA taxpayers put in $18 million in infrastructure including a new school, wastewater treatment plants, roads and power. The Federal government put in a further $9.8 million. In return they’ve been handed almost 2,000 new unemployment beneficiaries and their families to take care of.

    And the WA state government now stands to lose $20 million a year in mining royalties, which will have a flow-on effect for the entire state.

    Sure, the financial crisis caught some companies by surprise and cutbacks were inevitable. But BHP isn’t one of them – they were warned from the outset that Ravensthorpe was marginally viable at best, and relied on “boom” prices lasting forever if it was to keep going.

    I wait with interest to see whether the federal or state governments or even the company’s own shareholders demand some accountability from managing director Marius Kloppers and the board.

    And this is just the latest in “a giant list of multi billion dollar duds” as one newspaper has called it.

    I generally believe that governments and regulators shouldn’t stand in the way of business expansion. But the corollary to that freedom is that there needs to be consequences for those who do the wrong thing.

    In some ways, the fate of BHP’s executives and board will be a test of the self-regulating ability of capitalism as it stands at present.

  4. burt 4

    Steve P.

    Just watch the stats for people going to aussie fall, and more people come back from there and Europe as they lose their jobs. And just watch National claim that as a great victory.

    Just as Labour claimed the fall in unemployment over the last 9 years was a result of their prudent management…..

    Swings and roundabouts Steve, partisan people only ever see one side – the side they want to see.

  5. Whero 5

    The rolling clouds of an horrendous depression making its way to New Zealand and what’s the Goober doing? Destroying morale in the public service, stomping primary health care providers, and packing his Louis Viutton luggage for a first class trip up to the Pacific nations for a conference.

    Well, I suppose, its certainly a change.

  6. Pascal's bookie 6

    In happier news, it’s good to see that British Gas is slashing prices for domestic users in response to troubling times.

    Elizabeth Bradford, 67, from Dorchester is quoted thus: Thank you British Gas. I love you

  7. keith 7

    What sort of time lag can we expect before the crime rate starts ascending as a consequence of the increased unemployment?

  8. Don’t be silly keith – once tougher sentences are in place there will be no more crime…

  9. Whero 10

    Higher Standard referred to:

    ” . . . http://people.cornell.edu/pages/klp27/unemployment.pdf . . ”

    I note that this report concludes with the sentence: “Or perhaps with superior data and superior techniques, a conslusive model of the crime decision may be found and, in the process, bring credibility to the application of economic principles to social issues”

    Like fuck!

  10. keith 11

    cheers for link HS interesting reading.

    robinsod: right exactly so what’s the lag time on the ‘getting tough on crime’ spin?

  11. burt 12


    Robinsod will need to check with party headquarters before he can answer that question.

  12. keith 13

    burt: did I mistake his sincerity as facetiousness??

  13. Pascal's bookie 14

    Nah Keith,

    burt’s just a bit special.

  14. Adding to the list of corporates with a lot to answer for, I just had Platts Agency(Energy, Oil and stuff) file a better than brief report on Air New Zealand.

    These kind of things seldom surface – as you read through it’s pretty obvious no manager would want admit to competence or otherwise – but the point is that credit crunch impacting jobs is one thing.. this kind of business something else.. a must read for bigger pic followers.. go click me..

  15. PB,

    thanks for the link.. prodding me catch up on CR again..

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