THE HON BILL SHORTEN MP
LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION
SENATOR THE HON KIM CARR
SHADOW MINISTER FOR HIGHER EDUCATION, RESEARCH, INNOVATION, AND INDUSTRY
SENATOR FOR VICTORIA
TIM WATTS MP
MEMBER FOR GELLIBRAND
ABBOTT BRINGS ON END OF THE AUTO INDUSTRY IN AUSTALIA
The closure of manufacturing operations at Australia’s last major motor vehicle producer is a national tragedy.
Our thoughts are with the workers of Toyota, their families and their communities as they absorb this devastating blow.
By forcing Holden overseas, Mr Abbott has forced Toyota’s hand and cost 50,000 direct Australian jobs in the automotive industry. 200,000 jobs which rely indirectly on the automotive industry will be lost.
This is an economic catastrophe with a terrible human cost.
It marks the end of automotive manufacturing industry in Australia that began with the 1948 Chifley Holden.
This was not inevitable – this is a direct consequence of the Abbott Government that has abandoned the car industry and abandoned manufacturing jobs.
The automotive industry is not just a major employer. It is the largest contributor to research and development in the manufacturing sector. It brings vital investment in infrastructure and skills to this country.
For every $1 of government support, Toyota currently spends at least $20 in connection with manufacturing in Australia.
This is and remains a good company that did its best to work with the governments to secure a future for its workers and suppliers.
The death of the automotive industry will slash $7.3 billion from Australia’s GDP by 2018, and the economy will be $21.5 billion smaller.
Employment levels in Adelaide and Melbourne will not recover until the end of 2020s.
They refused the very modest assistance which would have secured the new investments to modernise the industry for the future.
$17.40 is the per capita cost of car industry support for Australians compared to $90 for every German and $264 for every American.
This was an industry to be proud of. Every worker who leaves Toyota today can be proud they were part of it.
It is now the Government’s obligation to do the right thing by the people it has betrayed.
We must see a structural adjustment package for the regions affected. We must see a transition plan for the component makers.
The cost of the Abbott Government’s negligence will be felt for generations to come.
This is a government that understands the price of everything and the value of nothing.
The death of the car industry in Australia will be a damning legacy on the Abbott Government.
10 FEBRUARY 2014
MEDIA CONTACTS: LEADER’S OFFICE MEDIA UNIT 026277 4053
Fiona Scott 0407 294 620 (CARR)