Just transitions in the Australian automotive sector?

Andrew Beer, Sally Weller, Helen Dinmore, Julie Ratcliffe, Ilke Onur, David Bailey, Tom Barnes, Jacob Irving, Sandy Horne, Josefina Atienza, Markku Sotarauta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


The closure of the Australian passenger vehicle industry in 2017 ended an important phase in the nation’s economic history. Closure affected up to 100,000 employees working across the Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) and the supply chain, with the impacts concentrated in two Australian states. This paper examines both the processes and the outcomes of this closure, making use of a Just Transitions lens to assess the wider impacts of this change. It reviews the measures put in place to assist workers displaced by plant closure, while also drawing on three waves of data from a survey of retrenched workers. The paper argues the process of transition for former employees was shaped by the distinctive characteristics of Australia’s system of industrial relations and the ambition of its governments to have as many affected workers find employment as possible. This objective was prioritised over quality of employment or the emerging skill needs of industries. The paper finds that while former auto workers have been able to re-establish themselves in the labour market, the management of this major change does not meet the expectations of a Just Transition as too little attention was directed to the wider societal impacts of this transformation.
Original languageEnglish
JournalContemporary Social Science
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 5 Mar 2024
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development


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