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Labor welcomes Industry Minister's backdown on car industry threat.



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Contact: Craig Emerson 0418 781 386

FOR MEDIA

CRAIG EMERSON Member for Rankin

SHADOW MINISTER FOR INNOVATION, INDUSTRY, TRADE AND TOURISM

24 June 2002

LABOR WELCOMES INDUSTRY MINISTER’S BACKDOWN ON CAR INDUSTRY THREAT

Today’s backdown by the Industry Minister on his threat to cut car industry support unless employers implement the Government’s industrial relations agenda is welcome.

Minister Macfarlane last week threatened to make a $2 billion import duty relief scheme contingent on employers engaging in a fight with car industry unions.

His declaration today that ongoing car industry support is not dependent on employers engaging in industrial confrontation, apparently at the direction of the Prime Minister, will allow future support for the car industry to be assessed on the merits of the case.

Now the Prime Minister should instruct Workplace Relations Minister, Tony Abbott, to withdraw his threat to the industry.

Playing politics with the car industry can only threaten the jobs of 58,000 workers and $5 billion in exports.

The industry has done spectacularly well over the last 10 years, achieving world-class efficiency levels and massive export growth.

Its future should not be threatened by Government ideological obsessions.