Baillieu Must Develop A Jobs Plan To Save Car Industry

Posted on 10. Jan, 2012 in News

The Baillieu Government must develop a car industry plan to protect 35,000 Victorian jobs, after it was revealed Holden may close its Australian operations, the Shadow Minister for Employment, Tim Pallas, said today.With concerns about Holden’s future in Australia emerging, the Baillieu Government must reveal what action it plans to take to protect the workers at Holden’s Port Melbourne head office, design and engineering centre and engine plant and at its testing centre in Lang Lang.

“Nothing is more important to Victorians than having a job – which is why Labor has a strong record of backing the car industry and worked hard in Government to keep the industry viable,” he said.

“We welcome Ford’s renewed commitment to continue its operations in Victoria but the Baillieu Government must also reveal what it will do to secure Holden’s future.

“Holden both directly and indirectly supports thousands of Victorian jobs and is the key to the long-term future of Victoria’s car industry and the survival of hundreds of smaller car supply manufacturers across the State.”

Mr Pallas said the Baillieu Government was quite happy today to claim credit for the Ford investment but had been silent on their failure to secure the long-term future of Holden.

“Mr Baillieu was dragged kicking and screaming to support Ford and Geelong jobs,” he said.

“Mr Baillieu’s ministerial team and his Liberal Party colleagues have a long history of bagging Victoria’s car industry and Federal and State Labor’s efforts to support it.

“In Opposition last year, the Liberal Party’s Shadow Manufacturing Minister attacked Labor’s support for Toyota as a “shaky” experiment, while former Liberal Premier Jeff Kennett said government support for the car industry should be withdrawn.

“In Government, all they have done is increase stamp duty on Australian-made cars at a time when the high Australian dollar is making local cars less competitive on price.

“So it is no surprise that the Baillieu Government was too lazy to send a representative on Kim Carr’s car industry mission to Detroit to secure Holden’s future in Victoria despite South Australia’s Premier Jay Weatherill attending to fight to keep Holden’s Elizabeth plant open.”

Mr Pallas said the Baillieu Government urgently needed to develop a car industry plan as part of a comprehensive jobs plan for Victoria.

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