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Government must stand firm against Kirner self-rescue package



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Government must stand firm against Kiraer self-rescue package

Premier Kimer's visit to Canberra today to plead on behalf of the Victorian car industry and Geelong region is more of a personal rescue mission than a genuine attempt to assist their long-term interests, Shadow Minister for Industry and Commerce, Ian McLachlan said today.

'The Government must not buckle to her calls to ease the proposed rate of tariff reductions for the industry.

'To do so would be tantamount to sacrificing the national interest in a vain attempt to resuscitate Mrs Kimer's failed government.

'Instead of pleading for slower tariff reductions and special assistance measures - measures which must bear a large part of the blame for Victoria's current economic morass - Mrs Kirner would achieve much more for the car industry and manufacturing industry generally by insisting her Federal colleagues take action to remove economy-wide impediments to improved competitiveness,' he said.

'The weary and overburdened Victorian community knows this only too well. It is paying heavily for Labor's penchant for artificial and superficial 'solutions'.

'For example, probably the greatest disincentive to industry training - something the Premier claims she is concerned about - is our rigid industrial relations system but I do not hear her supporting the Coalition's proposals for enterprise-based industrial relations.'

Mr McLachlan observed there seemed little chance of that happening when she was not even prepared to fix up impediments within Victorian jurisdiction.

'The Victorian transport system is testimony enough to that. For example, the final Industry Commission report mentions Toyota's claim that it could save $20 million if nationally uniform road transport regulations were enacted and '...in particular, if the Victorian road regulations relating to the size of car carrying trucks were made uniform with those of other States.

'Unless transport, industrial relations, taxation and broad economic impediments are addressed, the car industry will not stand a chance whatever the level of tariff protection, and it certainly will not stand a chance if Mrs Kimer's policies prevail,' Mr McLachlan said.

CANBERRA: 14 February 1991 Contact: 06 277 2039

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