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Labor refuses transparency, accountability on $3.4 billion car fund.

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Wed, 19th August 2009


Senator the Hon Eric Abetz

Deputy Leader of the Opposition in the Senate

Shadow Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research

Senator Kim Carr has today refused proper transparency and accountability over the proposed $3.4 billion in

assistance to the car industry by abandoning negotiations with the Coalition about amendments to the

Automotive Transformation Scheme Bill 2009.

The Opposition is extremely disappointed with the Government’s approach on this matter.

Our proposed amendments were clear, reasonable and do not cost the sector a single extra cent.

We sought to negotiate with the Government in good faith on this matter and are extremely disappointed that

they have abandoned negotiations.

While it is pleasing that the Government has at least accepted the need for “economic sustainability” to be a

material part of the Bill, Senator Carr continues to refuse our reasonable request for transparency through

specific, and more detailed, annual reporting of spending on this scheme.

The Government’s proposal that some sort of vague and generalised one-pager on the scheme be included in

the Department’s annual report is simply not good enough. It is no more than currently exists.

Taxpayers deserve more transparency for the expenditure of such large amounts of money.

We will vigorously pursue further and proper amendments on this matter in the Senate.