BAILLIEU DITHERING THREATENS CAR JOBS IN MELBOURNE’S EAST

Posted on 27. Jul, 2011 in News

The Baillieu Government’s refusal to rule out it will end targeted State Government support for car suppliers in Melbourne’s East was putting at risk thousands of local jobs, the Shadow Minister for Manufacturing, Adem Somyurek, said today.

Mr Somyurek said a fierce backlash from Victorian car suppliers had forced Manufacturing Minister Richard Dalla-Riva on a desperate dash to four local car manufacturers in Melbourne’s East yesterday in response to growing concerns about the Baillieu Government’s review of industry assistance.

“Yesterday, the hapless local member for Kilsyth David Hodgett dragged Mr Dalla-Riva along on a whirl-wind tour of four suppliers in Melbourne’s East,” Mr Somyurek said.

“But Mr Hodgett would have been better off leaving the Minister behind in his Exhibition Street office and taking along the local undertaker instead – because the only plan Mr Baillieu and Mr Dalla-Riva has for the car industry is a funeral plan.”

In a media release last Friday, Mr Dalla-Riva bragged about the Baillieu Government embarking on “the most far-reaching benchmarking exercise ever undertaken by any State in Australia on Victoria’s competitive fundamentals”.

“….we will develop a new strategic direction for industry assistance that will identify which sectors are missing out on support and direct investment to sectors that will generate maximum jobs growth and commercial success.” (22 July,2011)

“This is code for massive cuts to State financial support for car makers and reveals the Baillieu Government’s hidden agenda to kill off the industry.

“Mr Baillieu and Mr Dalla-Riva know State Government assistance is vital to support innovation in local car manufacturing to become more competitive and secure local jobs.

“This news would have sent shockwaves through the car industry and the thousands of Victorian families who depend on the industry for work.”

Mr Somyurek said last month Mr Baillieu had also refused to rule out ending State Government financial support for car makers and other manufacturers – a key recommendation of an interim review by the Victorian Competition and Efficiency Commission into Victoria’s manufacturing sector.

“This uncertainty comes at the worst time for Victorian car makers and suppliers who are under huge pressure from low cost locations, like China, and a high Australian dollar.

“Instead of mouthing platitudes, Mr Baillieu and Mr Dalla-Riva need to demonstrate their support for the car industry by ruling out cutting State industry assistance for local car suppliers and car makers.”

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