Posted on 19. Nov, 2012 in News

A Victorian Labor Government will mandate the purchase of locally made cars in state and local government fleets, and push for Victoria to design and manufacture the next generation of ambulance fleets for Australia and New Zealand, Opposition Leader Daniel Andrews said today.

Mr Andrews said Victorian Labor’s Procurement Plan will also lead a charge for Federal and State Governments to boost the number of Australian-made vehicles in Government-owned fleets and a rolling stock procurement pipeline.

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 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.

“Since the Baillieu Government was elected, our car makers have shed hundreds of jobs as they battle to maintain competitiveness faced with a high Australian dollar,” Mr Andrews said.

“Victoria is Australia’s manufacturing heartland, employing thousand of workers and Labor wants to make sure it stays that way,” Mr Andrews said.

“The car industry is critically important to our manufacturing sector’s future, employing thousands of Victorians and driving investment, technology transfer, innovation and skills.”

Mr Andrews said Labor’s procurement plan demonstrated there was a better alternative.

“Government procurement is a key policy lever to drive industry development and innovation,” Mr Andrews said.

“Last year, Australian governments bought 60,000 new cars – but less than a third were made locally.

“As part of our push, we will also investigate producing Australia’s first locally designed and manufactured ambulances to replace overseas-made vehicles in Australia and New Zealand fleets.

“We will also lobby for a national rolling stock Procurement and Maintenance Plan and boost investment and jobs in local rail manufacturing by delivering a more consistent and predictable order book.”

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