As Holden tackles with reducing costs by $40 million annually, the Gillard Government has announced they will continue financial support for the automotive industry in Australia.
Prime Minister Julia Gillard has stated the government would continue to subsidise car manufacturing, in an attempt to reduce further job losses, Skynews reported,
‘Yes, this government will support jobs in car making. Yes, we will continue the co-investments we have agreed to with Holden.’
The Australian Manufacturing Workers Union (AMWU) has urged the Coalition to step up now and reveal a strategy for manufacturing in Australia.
‘The Coalition must stop using the auto-industry as a political football and give bi-partisan support to co-investment in order to protect jobs according to the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union,’ AMWU.
The AMWU yesterday stated it is willing to engage in constructive discussions about productivity with any company, but that the auto-industry required certainty to keep making cars in Australia.
David Smith, AMWU National Secretary of the AMWU Vehicles Division, believes that there was a profound lack of certainty in the auto industry caused by the coalition’s threats to cut the car industry of co-investment.
“This unionised workforce has always been open to discussions about how to maximise productivity at Holden. We understand that this industry is a fundamental part of the Australian manufacturing industry, which is in turn central to our national interest. ”
Opposition industry spokeswoman Sophie Mirabella believes it was the carbon tax that was doing the most damage to automotive manufacturing, Pointing out comments made by Holden boss Mike Devereux that a tax on electricity was making input costs more expensive.
“The coalition has repeatedly warned of the impact of the carbon tax on the car industry and now we hear the industry confirm the damage yet again,” she said.
The record high Australian dollar, Mr Smith believes, is behind the incredibly difficult market conditions for automotive manufacturing in Australia
“It’s further ailed by the uneven international playing field where we have the most open market and lowest tariffs in the world while other countries retain high tariffs and taxes to protect their industries,” he said.