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Hockey to shut down car industry and sack hundreds of thousands of auto workers

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THE HON GREG COMBET AM MP Minister for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency Minister for Industry and Innovation


GC 214/12 20 July 2012


The Shadow Treasurer Joe Hockey has revealed that a Coalition Government would abandon the Australian automotive industry entirely, effectively killing off the industry, endangering the quarter of million jobs that rely on it and the broader manufacturing sector.

On morning television, Mr Hockey not only reaffirmed the Coalition’s long standing plan to cut $1.5 billion from the auto industry, he also declared that it was not in Australia’s interests to continue manufacturing Australian cars, and that the entire $5.4 billion New Car Plan was “wrong”.

He also ignored the fact that his state Liberal colleagues in the Baillieu Government are involved in and support strategic co-investments which are helping the automotive industry to restructure.

It is clear that Mr Hockey wants to axe a key component of support for the Australian manufacturing sector to create a slush fund for Tony Abbott’s reckless promises and to walk away from the million workers who rely on manufacturing to put food on their tables.

As a Labor Government, we are encouraging the automotive industry to innovate and invest, in order to ensure that it has a sustainable future in this country.

The Gillard Government is committed to a strong and dynamic industry. We are mindful of the pressures on the domestic automotive industry, from the high Australian dollar, international competition and changing consumer sentiment. And we are working with the industry to help meet and overcome these challenges.

We recognise the importance of skills and innovation within the auto industry. We want well paid, high-skilled manufacturing jobs to be around for future generations.

Mr Hockey should remember - if he’s giving up on cars, than he’s giving up on Australian manufacturing.

Media contact: Gia Hayne 02 6277 7920