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Labor's economic policy hits car industry



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MEDIA RELEASE SENATOR FRED CHANEY

LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION IN THE SENATE SHADOW MINISTER FOR INDUSTRY, TECHNOLOGY A N D COMMERCE

commonwealth

PARLIAMENTARY LIBRARY MICAH

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LABOR'S ECONOMIC POLICY HITS CAR INDUSTRY

The Government's total reliance on tight monetary policy is having a damaging impact on the Australian car industry.

Today's ABS registration figures for January show a 10% fall in registrations over the month in seasonally adjusted terms. After the disastrous years of 1986 and 1987, it would be a tragedy if the long-awaited pick-up evident last year was killed off by short-sighted economic policies.

If this trend continues, investment plans so crucial to the re-structuring of Australian manufacturing will be shelved and export sales lost.

These are the real costs of the Government's failure to tackle the fundamental problems in the economy - such as poor productivity and lack of savings.

Genuine labour market reform must be put back on the agenda. Government spending and taxation must be reduced to relieve the burden on the private sector and to encourage individuals to work, save and invest. Transport and communications systems must

be made competitive to give Australian exporters a chance in a very competitive world.

Many of these changes will not happen overnight. But action must start now so that we can break out of the vicious circle of high inflation and high interest rates, of unsustainable "boom" followed by bust.

Until this happens, the car industry, like many others, will be subject to the vagaries of blunt, last-resort economic policies and its own efforts to improve competitiveness will count for little.

CANBERRA 27 FEBRUARY 1989

Contact: Keith Kessell (062) 77 3170