The Shadow Minister for Innovation and Industry, Senator Kim Carr,today opened the Australian Automotive Aftermarket Expo.
This expo demonstrates that the automotive industry can rebuild and have a strong future in Australia even after the Abbott Government has let car manufacturing in Australia collapse on its watch.
Australia will have an auto industry and public policy will determine its size and scope. The automotive aftermarket industries are today showing what their skills, innovation and craftsmanship can manufacture.
As ever, the automotive industry continues to provide core skills and capacities that will help boost other forms of manufacturing.
It is time for the Government to get into gear, take the automotive industry seriously, and commit funds to assist with the re‑training and re-skilling of workers at the three car makers and their suppliers.
Yesterday’s Senate inquiry into the future of the Australia’s automotive industry revealed that chaos and disarray reign in the Abbott Government’s response to imminent job losses in the sector.
When the Abbott Government did so much to drive the automotive industry out of the country, it is simply not good enough for Ministers to pass the buck now that the consequences of their decisions must be dealt with.
The Australia auto industry is facing an unemployment cliff and major structural adjustment. The mismanagement and lack of planning by this Government simply beggars belief.
It is clear that Ministers Macfarlane, Abetz, Morrison and Pyne have no plan to create new jobs or ensure coordinated support is provided for the tens of thousands of workers who are currently employed directly and indirectly in vehicle manufacturing.
The Abbott Government also fails to understand the critical role that the Australian automotive aftermarket industry can play in rebuilding the automotive industry when the car makers cease production.
Labor will fight to keep high-skill high-wage jobs in Australia and stop the Abbott Government sending them offshore.