- Old Norlane Ford factory in Geelong now used as mass vaccination hub
- It has vaccinated 41,000 people to date
Ford’s old manufacturing plant in Geelong is now being utilised as a new mass vaccination hub.
Ford closed the Norlane factory when it ceased local vehicle production at the end of 2016, followed a year later by Toyota and Holden.
Ford then sold large sections of both its Broadmeadows and Norlane (Geelong) sites to development group Pelligra, which now owns the section used for the vaccination hub as well as Holden’s old assembly plant in Elizabeth, SA.
The vaccination hub at the old factory was first used to immunise frontline workers, but is now taking bookings from members of the general public who are deemed eligible for either the Pfizer or AstraZeneca vaccines.
To date, around 41,000 people have been vaccinated at the hub, with around 1200-1600 people being jabbed per day. The venue has a maximum capacity of 2000 vaccines being given each day.
A spokeswoman for Barwon Health added: "The former Ford site in Norlane was selected by the Department of Health in partnership with Barwon Health due to its size and easy access for consumers by private car and public transport. It was also a well-known site in the community.
"We worked closely with the site developers Pelligra and local contractors to fit out the site for Geelong’s vaccination program."
Former Ford employees now employed with Barwon Health were also invited to the launch of the hub earlier this year.
From our point of view, it’s great to see one of Australian motoring’s most iconic sites still making history.
Ford first began manufacturing cars in Geelong with the Model T in 1925, kicking off 90 years of vehicle production for the company in Australia.
That included a big expansion of its factories in the 1960s to accommodate production of the Ford Falcon, which would go toe-to-toe with Holden's Commodore for the best selling car in Australia for decades in a glory period for Australian manufacturers.
Ford continued to build Falcons and the Ford Territory here locally until it rolled the shutters down for the final time in 2016.
Ford Australia still continues to develop top-selling cars which are sold worldwide, including the hugely popular Ford Ranger.
A spokesman for Ford told WhichCar it has no direct involvement with the vaccination centre, but it is helping to provide parking for the site.
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