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Car package fails auto workers.

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- MEDIA RELEASE - SENATOR THE HON. ERIC ABETZ Deputy Leader of the Opposition in the Senate Shadow Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research

Media enquiries: Brad Stansfield 0419 884 666 1

A08108 19 th November 2008

Car package fails auto workers

News that Holden will halve its production schedule for the first quarter of next year - on top of unprecedented production cuts over the next six weeks - confirms that the Rudd Government’s much-hyped “car package” has failed Australian automotive industry workers.

As the Coalition said when this package was announced last Monday, what is most glaring is not what’s in it, but what’s not in it - that is, there is nothing to assist the auto industry over the next 18 months, when it needs it most.

Kim Carr has prescribed a long-term diet for the Australian auto industry, but what it needs is immediate triage to assist today’s haemorrhaging caused by a collapse in new car sales.

Kim Carr stubbornly maintains that his package will address the current crisis.

It won’t.

These productions cuts, on top of those previously announced, and those at Ford, will have devastating flow-on effects to the components sector which simply can’t afford to pay their workers if no-one is buying their product.

Unless the Government takes urgent action to address the current issues - rather than the ones in the next decade - it is clear that the Government is going to need more than the $34 million currently set aside for “re-training” retrenched auto industry workers.