VACC Calls for Manufacturers to Validate Government Assistance

My Drive – VACC has called for continued Government assistance for the Australian Automotive Industry. Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, recently confirmed $34million to support Ford Australia in return for continuing to make cars in Melbourne and Geelong until at least 2016. Federal Manufacturing Minister, Kim Carr, is reported to be working to keep GM Holden in Australia until 2020 with a $100million package. VACC, with 5,000 members in the retail, service and repair sector of the automotive industry, supports the Government intervention and calls for continued Federal and State Government ‘backing’ to ensure the future of automotive production in this county. “In November, I said that in horse racing terms, local manufacturers are stayers, capable of running the distance. I also said that we absolutely need manufacturing, including vehicle manufacturing, and that it should be further fostered with targeted financial assistance generated from the mining and resources boom. I stand by those comments again today,” VACC Executive Director, David Purchase, said.

“Australia should be proud of its automotive industry and its contribution to the economy. The Victorian automotive industry alone has a turnover of $41billion and employs approximately 76,000 people. In 2011, one million calendar-year vehicle sales were achieved in this country for only the fourth time in history. According to official VFACTS data, a total of 1,008,437 new passenger cars, SUVs and commercial vehicles were delivered to customers during 2011. “We clearly have an appetite for cars in Australia and while other countries seem to unashamedly invest in their stronger manufacturers, here we are more reserved. The Government should not be afraid to ‘pick winners’ and to ensure everything is done to ensure selected manufacturers are provided with every possible advantage.

“However, where I believe there needs to be an improvement is in relation to the transparency of the negotiated deals between Governments and manufacturers. As tax payers, we deserve to know what to expect in return for the investment. Any negativity surrounding large scale investment announcements would be abated if the industry, media and wider community were fully informed of the benefits of the agreements,” Mr Purchase said.

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