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Monday, 9 February 2015
Page: 274

Wills and Calwell Electorates: Manufacturing

(Question No. 591)


Mr Kelvin Thomson asked the Minister representing the Minister for Employment, in writing, on 14 November 2014:

Is the Minister aware that the communities in the electoral divisions of Wills and Calwell are yet to absorb the full effects of the hollowing out of the local manufacturing base, as a result of the Government's decision to abandon manufacturing, particularly through the closure of Ford Australia's manufacturing plant in Broadmeadows.


Mr Pyne: The Minister for Employment has provided the following answer to the honourable member's question:

The premise of the question by the Member for Wills is false.

The Members for Willis and Calwell supported the Carbon Tax and Labor's economic policies that led to a number of companies in Australia finding that it was no longer economically viable and competitive to do business in Australia.

Furthermore, in 2012 the previous government announced a new subsidy to Holden, which it claimed would 'guarantee' its operations until 2022. This 'guarantee', of course, proved to be illusory. I also note the comments by senior General Motors management that the company would not have continued Holden's manufacturing operations in Australia, regardless of how much Government funding was provided. The same is true of Ford. Toyota, of course, was seriously undermined by the AMWU's court action to prevent its employees from even considering changes to its enterprise agreement that would have enabled the company's Melbourne operations to become more efficient and competitive, without impacting on pay and conditions.

I also note recent media reports on 1 December 2014 on the previous Government's automotive "assistance" policies, which stated that:

" The true scale of the former Rudd Government ' s waste in supporting the collapsing Australian car manufacturing industry is revealed with new figures showing taxpayers funded almost a third of the cost of each four-cylinder Ford Falcon.

" In 2009, $42 million of taxpayer money was pumped into the four-cylinder Falcon and two other fuel-efficient Ford vehicles under the $500 million " Green Car Innovation Fund " .

" The four-cylinder Falcon has effectively received a subsidy of almost $8000 on each $37,000 vehicle—or $11,600 on each car bought by private buyers and businesses if you exclude Ford ' s company car fleet. "