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Tuesday, 10 September 1985
Page: 329


Senator WATSON —My question is directed to the Minister for Industry, Technology and Commerce. What measures have been taken by the Government to encourage General Motors-Holden's Ltd or a consortium to produce six-cylinder engines in Australia? Have any limited imports of the Nissan six-cylinder engine for GMH commenced? Is there any possibility that a six-cylinder engine plant will be established in Australia in the future, following the substantial fall in the Australian dollar, which makes importation of the engine less attractive than previously?


Senator BUTTON —The question of the manufacture of a six-cylinder engine in Australia has been the subject of discussion for some time. The Government sought General Motors' agreement to the production of a six-cylinder engine in Australia in regard to its new car, but it was explained to us at the time that the plans for the development of that car were too far down the track. However, as I understand it, there have been discussions with the companies regarding the future production of a six-cylinder engine in Australia. Those discussions have been held with the Automotive Industry Authority which was established under the car industry plan. I will seek a more comprehensive answer from that body. Insofar as I am able to answer within the bounds of commercial confidence, I will advise the honourable senator in due course.