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Tuesday, 1 December 2015
Page: 9438

Senator EDWARDS (South Australia) (16:35): I would like to speak on the report of Senate Economics References Committee on Australia's automotive industry. I acknowledge the work of the economics committee and say that this government has a profound level of support for the Automotive Transformation Scheme—ever since Mitsubishi left Adelaide in 2007, and then Ford and Holden subsequently decided at the 2013 election that they would leave. The fact is that over 1.1 million vehicles are sold in this country and, sadly, only 130,000 of those are manufactured in this country, and it is declining.

This government did not shut down the automotive industry, as those opposite would try to frame it—in the same way that we could say that they closed Mitsubishi in 2007 on their watch. It is simply not the case. It is world economics. It is the way things happen. The industry has been supported and will draw down another $175 million from the automotive transformation package that the government has on offer—and we will not resile from that. I have been working with industries in South Australia, and one company, Cutler Brands, has been awarded over $1 million to transition to other industries. This government shall not and will not resile from trying to protect the jobs in this space.