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Thursday, 16 February 2012
Page: 1642


Mr CHEESEMAN (Corangamite) (13:46): I present a petition concerning the automotive manufacturing industry, which has been approved by the Standing Committee on Petitions.

The petition read as follows—

To the Honourable Speaker and Members of the House of Representatives.

This petition of certain citizens of Australia draws to the attention of the House the importance of the Australian car manufacturing industry to our future.

Since the earliest days of the motor car, the industry has enjoyed bipartisan support at all levels of government in Australia.

The car industry, and die many industries that supply it, pays the wages for more than 200,000 Australians, It sustains families, communities and regions throughout Australia.

It is the cornerstone on which one million manufacturing jobs rest. We strongly oppose the $500 million cut to the car industry's legislated investment demanded by the coalition

We are concerned by the coalition's refusal to commit to any assistance beyond 2015, which would deny the industry a further $1 billion in the years to 2020.

This policy would not just sacrifice the car industry. It would decimate Australian manufacturing. It would deny our children the opportunities which are their heritage and their future. A sustainable car manufacturing industry must be a partnership between car companies, workers and their unions, and all sides of politics, giving the industry the confidence to make the right long-term investments.

We therefore ask the House to remember its obligations to the working men and women of Australia, and call on the coalition to abandon its opposition to the Australian government's firm commitments for the car industry's future.

from 3,084 citizens

Petition received.

Mr CHEESEMAN: This petition very much goes to highlighting the importance of the car manufacturing industry to Australia. The petition calls for a bipartisan approach to the car manufacturing sector because, as we all know, the car manufacturing sector employs some 200,000 Australians nationwide. In the Geelong area, there are more than 2,000 people who work in the car industry. The petition highlights the concern of workers within this industry about Tony Abbott's proposed cuts to the industry program that the government has put in place. We have subsequently learned that Tony Abbott will cut all assistance to the industry post 2015 if the opposition is elected to government.

Some 5,000 people have signed this petition manually, and a further 1,300 people have signed the petition online. I urge the parliament to consider the petition and reflect on the importance of the auto sector to the Australian economy.