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Brack's report maps auto future.



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Innovation, Industry, Science and Research: Ministers and Parliamentary Secretary

BRACKS' REPORT MAPS AUTO FUTURE

Senator Kim Carr, Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research, today released the report of the Review of Australia's Automotive Industry, saying it was an important step forward in securing the industry's long-term viability.

The review, carried out by the Hon Steve Bracks, supported by an expert panel, was asked to examine all the factors affecting the competitiveness of the Australian automotive industry and recommend strategies to overcome the barriers to success.

"The Rudd Labor Government firmly believes that there is every reason to be optimistic about the future of the nation's automotive industry if the right policy decisions are made now. This is what this review is all about," Senator Carr said.

"Mr Bracks has supplied a comprehensive and thoughtful report that provides the basis for making informed policy choices. The Government's response will tackle the tough issues outlined in the report and will be released shortly.

"The automotive industry is strategically critical to Australia in terms of exports, employment and innovation. Our economy benefits from the investment, jobs, skills, research and development, innovation and the exports the industry generates.

"Cars integrate almost every advanced technology we use today.

"Mr Bracks finds that the industry needs to continue embracing global competition, but also acknowledges the challenges it faces, not least climate change.

"A range of new technologies is being developed to meet demand for low-emission, fuel-efficient vehicles, and no-one can say which technologies will succeed.

"This can be seen as a threat to the Australian industry - or as an opportunity to carve out a new niche in the international production system and secure critical export sales.

"Seizing the opportunity will require a new policy approach and that's what the Rudd Labor Government will provide.

"I want to thank Mr Bracks, the review's expert panel members and all those who contributed to the review for providing such a comprehensive and thorough report in this very complex area," Senator Carr said.

Innovation Minister > Senator the Hon Kim Carr

Media Release

Senator the Hon Kim Carr

15 Aug 2008

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For a copy of the report, see www.innovation.gov.au/automotivereview

Media contact: Catriona Jackson, Senator Carr's Office 0417 142 238 Geoff Lewis, Automotive Review Secretariat 02 6213 7219 Susan Charles, for Mr Bracks 0434 077 594

SUMMARY OF RECOMMENDATIONS

The review’s recommendations are predicated on changing the behaviour of automotive firms and the industry to make them more competitive and better able to meet global challenges, including the move to a lower carbon environment.

The report proposes new transitional arrangements to enable the Australian automotive industry to be world-competitive and viable. Key recommendations cover:

• replacing the current Automotive Competitiveness and Investment Scheme with a new and retargeted Global Automotive Transition Scheme designed to support research, development, design and export;

• bringing forward, and doubling to $1 billion if successful, the Government's Green Car Innovation Fund;

• contributing to a short-term restructuring fund to assist the automotive supply chain to improve economies of scale;

• reducing the passenger motor vehicle tariff from 10 to 5 percent by 2010, making Australian car tariffs the third-lowest amongst major automotive-producing economies in the world;

• including road transport in an emissions trading scheme;

• encouraging automotive exports through expanded free trade agreements, particularly with the Gulf States, ASEAN and South Africa;

• expanding access to overseas automotive supply chains through a ‘Team Australia’ approach using eminent automotive ambassadors;

• harmonising, and in some cases reducing, state and territory passenger motor vehicle taxes, while encouraging governments to support an environmentally sustainable Australian industry; and

• establishing a new Automotive Industry Innovation Council to provide advice and oversight in relation to the new transitional arrangements.

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