Sep 26, 2012
The Australian Manufacturing Workers' Union has stated
today that governments have a critical role in the future
of the manufacturing industry.
Paul Bastian said there were a number of critical roles for
government, including co-investing in the industry, just as
every other car-manufacturing nation in the world does, to
maintain the critical skills, R&D and innovation that the
sector delivers to the local economy.
"Let's not forget in this issue, we're dealing with
people's livelihoods and professions. White anting and
talking down this industry is in no one's interest.
"Government, state, local and federal, also have a critical
role in ensuring they do what they can for the future of
the industry by ensuring their fleets are locally
"Ten years ago, Australian governments bought 66 per cent
of their fleets from Australian car makers, now its only 33
per cent of all fleets.
"Australia's car industry, by international standards,
receives relatively little support per capita from
government and we have the lower tariffs than all of our
"The auto-industry is a critical hub for Australian skills
and innovation. It is critical in discussions about our
future that this is recognised as a tremendous asset.
"The Opposition generally and Shadow Minister for Industry
Sophie Mirabella lack credibility on this issue, given
their comments that the co-investment should be ended, and
the skills and the jobs of more than 200,000 thousands
workers in the auto industry jeopardized.
"Cutting $500m from the industry would be a disaster. We
also call on the Opposition to announce their industry plan
now and not just leave the nasty surprise for workers and
industry for after the election.
"Australia has a choice. Either we have a car industry or
we don't. If we want a car industry, and all the benefits
that go along with it, in economic, employment and skills
terms - we have to back it in.
"The Prime Minister's Manufacturing Taskforce makes the
points about the innovation clearly - our future is not in
a race to the bottom on wages or prices but in honing,
developing and deploying the skills of our workers and our
quality products. The local auto sector is a key piece in
us delivering this future," said Mr. Bastian.