AMWU members from across Australia’s three car companies have this week visited Canberra to urge Tony Abbott and the Federal Coalition to support auto manufacturing and end their controversial anti-subsidy policy.
Holden maintenance fitter Scott Cruz delivered a petition of 5000 signatures in support of the Australia car industry to parliament.
The group also met with the Prime Minister and the Coalition’s Industry spokesperson Sophie Mirabella.
“Sophie Mirabella wasn’t interested in supporting the automotive industry and manufacturing as a whole, despite our visit,” Mr Cruz said.
“It seems Tony Abbott and the Liberals are more interested in removing the carbon tax but it’s their policy of no investment that is going to kill the auto industry.”
Mr Cruz said he was impressed with the group’s meeting with the Prime Minister and the Manufacturing Minister, Kim Carr.
“He’s on top of every industry and he had answers to everyone’s questions about their sites.
“The relationship the AMWU has with the government is going to benefit us in the future.”
Production worker and delegate at Holden’s Elizabeth plant Michael Etherington reiterated the importance of co-investment.
“We’re looking for the Coalition) to basically match the commitment that the current government has shown to manufacturing in the auto industry; that’s what we’re after.
“There’s a lot of uncertainty and a bit of nervousness obviously. Basically what we’re probably looking at, about the next 12 months will set the Australian car industry up for about the next 10 years. We need to make good decisions now.”
AMWU National Secretary Dave Oliver, who joined the visiting AMWU members, said that the auto industry employed 46,000 people directly and over 200,000 including supply chains.
“This is such an important industry and we really need to keep the pressure on the Coalition to match the current government’s commitment.
“The current co-investment scheme is vital to making sure the car industry has a bright, high-tech future in Australia and Tony Abbott’s plan to cut $500 million will be a major blow to the industry.”