Opinion article* published in The Age written by Dr Jeff McGee and Ann Apps at the University of Newcastle.

Recent announcements by Holden and Toyota of manufacturing plant shutdowns in Geelong and Adelaide are stark reminders of how little control regional communities have over their economic and social futures in a globalised world.

Corporate managers are obliged to seek out the lowest production and labour costs to maximise profits, regardless of the local impact. The plant closures in Victoria and South Australia are a direct result of these free-market forces. The high Australian dollar has reduced the ability of manufacturers to export at a competitive price. The workers have no control over the value of the Australian dollar or the extremely low wages paid in some developing countries.

Just like a prolonged drought, these factors will have a devastating impact on whole communities for years to come.

Read the full article in The Age

*This opinion piece represents the author’s views