Qantas will close its maintenance engineering base at Avalon at the end of March 2014. The decision puts further pressure on Geelong’s future as a centre of manufacturing.
The Daily Telegraph reports that, as a result of the closure, 53 Qantas employees and 246 contractors working for Forstaff Aviation will lose their jobs.
Qantas’ fleet of Boeing 747s are now likely to be serviced overseas. There are 14 aircraft in the fleet which will be retired in the near future.
The closure of the facility will cost the company around $28 million in one-off costs, such as redundancy payments.
As the ABC reports, Qantas’ decision is the latest in a run of bad news for the city of Geelong and brings into question the future of the city as a manufacturing hub.
As many as 3,000 locals may lose their jobs in the near future. These include 500 who will be made redundant when Ford closes its doors for the last time in Australia in 2016.
Commenting on the Qantas decision, Victorian secretary of the Australian Workers' Union, Ben Davis said, "This is devastating news in a part of Victoria that can't afford any more bad news."
"This facility didn't have to close and Qantas should be ashamed of themselves.
"They will offshore this work overseas."