Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
A New Car Plan For a Greener Future: speech at the Automotive Centre for Excellence, Melbourne.



Download PDFDownload PDF

Ministers for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research

A NEW CAR PLAN FOR A GREENER FUTURE - SPEECH BY SENATOR CARR

Automotive Centre for Excellence Docklands, Victoria

[check against delivery]

Today marks a new beginning for the Australian automotive industry.

It also marks a new beginning for Australian innovation and industry policy - in today’s world, these are one and the same thing.

This is a new deal for Australian car-makers and a new deal for Australian car-buyers.

It reflects our determination to create high-quality, high-skill, high-wage jobs - the kind of jobs Australians want for themselves and their children.

It reflects our belief in innovation, which is the key to giving Australia a winning edge in global markets - never more so than in these difficult economic times.

It reflects our desire to give Australians greener, safer, more affordable vehicle choices.

The world is in crisis and the Government is focused on shielding Australia from the worst effects of the storm outside.

We are acting decisively to address today’s challenges, but that doesn’t mean we lose sight of tomorrow.

It doesn’t mean we lose sight of the country’s long-term needs.

That includes the need for a strong, efficient, creative manufacturing sector, which is essential to a balanced economy and the lifeblood of communities across the country.

That’s what the Government wants - but we won’t get it by standing by and watching from the sidelines.

You need a plan.

You need a vision of the future.

You need a solid partnership with industry.

Senator the Hon Kim Carr

Sp

eech

Senator the Hon Kim Carr

10 Nov 2008

Page 1 of 3 Minister - Innovation, Industry, Science and Research

Above all, you need investment.

The package we are announcing today is all about attracting that investment.

It’s about greening the industry, strengthening the local supply chain, boosting skills, and increasing international engagement.

Most importantly, it’s about creating jobs.

The challenges facing the car industry have sharpened in recent months, but they are not new.

That’s why we appointed Steve Bracks and his team to conduct their review.

They did a fantastic job.

The Government’s response to their recommendations will build capacity and drive the transformation of the industry.

It will see the industry through the present tough times and make it stronger in the decades to come.

The Government is making a significant commitment to this industry, and we expect a significant commitment in return.

Why should the Australian community invest in the automotive sector?

I can think of several billion reasons.

Between 2001 and 2007, the industry received $3.8 billion in assistance under the Automotive Competitiveness and Investment Scheme.

It spent ten times that amount on plant, equipment, research, development, wages, salaries and taxes.

That’s a great return, but it is only part of the story.

The automotive industry is the mainstay of families around Australia.

It employs 60,000-plus directly, but the total number of workers who owe their jobs to car-making is at least 200,000.

This is a plan for them.

It is a plan for every Australian who wants to buy a car that is easier on the environment and easier on the wallet.

It is a plan that feeds directly into the Government’s efforts to beat climate change, to beat the global financial crisis, and to make Australia stronger, smarter and fairer.

It’s a plan the Government is very proud of, and that’s why the Prime Minister is here to launch it today.

For more information on A New Car Plan for a Greener Future, including the full government response to the Review of Australia’s Automotive Industry, visit www.innovation.gov.au/automotivereview

Page 2 of 3 Minister - Innovation, Industry, Science and Research