Last Week Ford Australia announced that they were pulling out of all production of all Ford motor vehicles, starting from 2016. As somebody who is local to Geelong and does business in Geelong, obviously there are concerns as to how this is going to affect Geelong and the local economy.
Ford has been an institution in Geelong for a very long time and one of the 3 big industry, big companies that Geelong in a lot of ways was founded on or at least that Geelong has relied on for many years along with Alcoa and Shell.
My first thoughts went to those who will lose their jobs and those whos businesses may be lost and the impact that those people will feel. I also thought about the dooms daying that’s gonna hit the media, already has, was yesterday, is tomorrow and will continue for some weeks and the ringing of hands and the woe is us mentality that the media will perpetuate because it sells papers, they will perpetuate this for some weeks because bad news sells.
Ive often thought and I don’t want to say this at the expense of the people who will lose their jobs but lets remember we have 3 years to plan for this and deal with this and to put things into place that allow us to cope with this. There is no questions this will affect our local economy and the local community.
But I see the loss of those, not only Ford but the future loss of Alcoa and Shell because lets face it, it will happen and they tried to put these things off as long as they but its pretty clear that Geelong has to face up to the reality that the future of Geelong will be without those 3 big industry leaders and I see, I think we should all see and all Geelong people and Victorians and Australians should all see this as an opportunity and the future off Geelong without those 3 companies as a great opportunity for the betterment of Geelong’s future.
As a real estate agent I talk to people a lot and I don’t recall anyone saying to me in the last 2 or 3 years that they are moving to Geelong because they are coming to work at Ford, Alcoa or Shell. I talk to a lot of people who work in those companies but I don’t talk to people who are moving here for that reason, they are moving here for lifestyle.
Geelong, despite having what could be considered an “Ugly Duckling” tag, that its had for many years because I think a lot of people consider and certainly before I lived here considered it as a bit of a grey old industrial city, one that was built on that industry and what people who don’t live don’t realize that there are some amazingly beautiful parts of Geelong and it really is a beautiful city with great potential. Its on the bay, the esplanade, the water front areas the park, the Eastern Beach, some beautiful areas. Any city would be proud and wrapped to have those natural assets. Queens park, Newtown, Highton, Drumcondra and areas like that. These are suburbs that would be the envy of any city. Access to the coast and so on. It’s a wonderful location and a wonderful city with a great future and people are moving here for lifestyle. It’s cheaper than Melbourne, it’s a better lifestyle than Melbourne and it’s still within a 40 to 50 min drive to Melbourne. This is the opportunity we have. Nationally and Globally the world has to look to new industry and new technology and you know, its not going to be an overnight thing but Geelong now has an opportunity to be a leader in that and to embrace new technology and new industry. I know that having heard industry leaders speak, business and community leaders speak in Geelong that they do know that they are going to have to embrace new technology and new industries for the future of Geelong and I 100% agree with that. There is opportunity out there and this is going to force Geelong’s hand and the local communities had to seek them and embrace them and to bring them to Geelong and lead the way. You know, again we have 3 years to do this before Ford leaves so you know, its not like they are leaving overnight. We have plenty of time to prepare and get ready for this and I think in the long term and again I don’t want to belittle or gloss over the immediate impact on all the families lives in Geelong but in the long term I think Geelong as a whole will look back on this and see it as a blessing in disguise.
What are your thoughts?