Posted on 29. Nov, 2012 in News
The Baillieu Government has walked away from supporting manufacturing jobs at Victorian car plants, Shadow Minister for Manufacturing Adem Somyurek said today.
Mr Somyurek asked Assistant Finance Minister Gordon Rich-Phillips in Parliament this week if the government would follow Labor’s lead in mandating the purchase of locally manufactured vehicles by all Victorian Government departments, agencies, executives entering into salary sacrifice arrangements and local government authorities, but he refused.
Currently many Government agencies are not subject to rules that mandate buying an Australian-made car. A range of agencies including schools, hospitals, TAFEs, water authorities and education institutes are exempt.
Local government is also outside the current vehicle policy and Labor – unlike the Coalition – is proposing to mandate that all cars in the public sector must be Australian made, with the only exception being specific purpose vehicles that are not locally manufactured.
“The Federal Chamber of Automobile Industries (FCAI) / VFACTS Registration Report for 2011 reveals that only 59 per cent of Victorian Government automobile purchases were locally produced,” Mr Somyurek said.
“The FCAI report reveals that only 23 per cent of Victorian Local Government automobile purchases were locally produced.
“Mr Baillieu and Manufacturing Minister Richard Dalla-Riva need to stand up and support Victoria’s automotive workers and support Labor’s policy of mandating the purchase of locally manufactured vehicles.”
Mr Somyurek said it was no surprise the Baillieu Government had abandoned the automotive industry.
“Mr Baillieu is having his strings pulled by Federal Leader Tony Abbott who wants to rip millions of dollars from the manufacturing industry that supports thousands of Victorian jobs,” he said.
“Mr Dalla-Riva has failed to implement his own policy commitments one year after the release of the manufacturing statement, including forming a manufacturing council to oversee and give strategic advice on the implementation of the policy.
“As of last week, almost a year on, the manufacturing council has yet to convene and is further evidence that the Baillieu Government has abandoned the thousands of workers and business that make up Victoria’s manufacturing sector.”