Minister D’Ambrosio accuses Abbott Government of “abandoning” Victorian apparel workers


More than 70 jobs at Workwear Group‘s West Footscray factory are in danger of being lost after Federal Defence Minister Kevin Andrews cancelled an order for Australian Defence Force uniforms.

Image credit:

It comes after Mr Andrews informed the company that the Department was cancelling the 2015 order after ordering an average of 130,000 uniforms from the Victorian-based defence apparel supplier each year for the past 10 years.

Minister for Industry Lily D’Ambrosio has voiced her support for Workwear employees, urging the Abbott Government to bring forward orders for new combat uniforms and other defence garments to save the company from going under.

“Tony Abbott and Kevin Andrews are abandoning Victorian workers. They need to place an order to save these jobs,” Ms D’Ambrosio said in a media release.

“Without an order for any combat uniforms in the 2015-16 financial year the defence supplier could be forced to close at the end of June.”

She wrote a letter to Mr Andrews reminding him that the combat uniform supply chain was a capability recognised by the Commonwealth as a Priority Industry Capability that should be retained in-country.

She also urged Mr Andrews to provide some certainty to the business, as the closure of Workwear would destroy jobs as well as the supply chain.

“They have failed to give Victorian defence manufacturers certainty and now they’re risking our combat uniform supply chain. It’s as senseless as it is heartless. We will stand up to the Abbott Government, so long as they continue to cut jobs and target our workers,” the Minister said.