After goading the car industry into leaving Australia, today’s backflip from the Liberal Government on its $900 million cut to the Automotive Transformation Scheme is too little, too late for thousands of Australian auto workers.
Today’s decision is all about Tony Abbott securing his own job, not the jobs of thousands of auto workers.
Labor welcomes the Government’s belated acknowledgement that it was wrong to cut $900 million from the ATS – but the question remains, why has the Liberal Government spent every day since is was elected undermining the auto industry and its workers?
Today’s announcement will come as cold comfort to the thousands of automotive workers whose jobs are still on the line because the Abbott Government has no shred of a manufacturing or jobs policy.
The reality is that today’s decision is all about politics and Tony Abbott saving his own skin, not about any genuine concern for manufacturing in this country.
This Government is attempting to cover up the shambles that it has created after playing chicken with Holden and gambling with Australian jobs, as part of their short-sighted anti-auto campaign.
For months, the Prime Minister and Industry Minister have been insisting that they would press ahead with this reckless policy.
If passed, the Government’s legislation would have resulted in a $900 million cut in co investment funds between now and 2017, which could have seen an early closure of the carmakers, created chaos in the supply chain and put 200,000 jobs at risk.
Labor will continue to hold the Government to account for its callous approach to manufacturing.
We will fight to keep high-skill high-wage jobs in Australia and stop the Abbott Government sending them offshore.