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Car world laughing at us: Shorten

AAP logoAAP 5/10/2016

Ford's last Australian-made Falcon rolls off the assembly line on Friday and Opposition Leader Bill Shorten says the car manufacturing world is laughing at us.

The Broadmeadows factory will shut down on Friday ahead of Holden and Toyota closing in 2017.

"This week there are 20 countries in the world who build cars from scratch. Next week there will only be 19," Mr Shorten told reporters in Broadmeadows.

"Those other 19 countries are not congratulating us on waving our car industry goodbye - they're laughing."

Ford will keep 1500 jobs in Australia as part of a design hub, but Mr Shorten said the Broadmeadows factory site should be looked at for community use.

"I think it's most important they sit down with the community, with government, how we can use these assets, which in part are the product of the investment of Australian taxpayers," he said.

Mr Shorten said the federal government should demand Australian apprentices be employed on public projects, and local suppliers prioritised to help recover from the loss of more than 40,000 automotive supply chain jobs.

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