House debates

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Questions without Notice


2:25 pm

Photo of Greg CombetGreg Combet (Charlton, Australian Labor Party, Minister for Climate Change, Industry and Innovation) Share this | Hansard source

I thank the member for Wakefield for his question, because manufacturing is an absolutely fundamental part of the Australian economy. It employs about one million people in well-skilled and high-paid jobs. The manufacturing sector, as the Prime Minister indicated earlier, has been experiencing pressures from things such as the high value of the Australian dollar and intense international competition. That is why the government has put in place a series of policy measures to support the industry: things like the Steel Transformation Plan and targeted assistance for particular industries and firms—the $5.4 billion New Car Plan and our $1 billion Plan for Australian Jobs.

But there are greater risks to manufacturing in this country—from the job-cutting policies of the opposition. They plan to cut assistance, for example, to the motor vehicle manufacturing sector by $500 million over the next two years and place great uncertainty over a further $1½ billion in assistance after 2015. All of that is at risk under the stated policy of the coalition. That is a policy that would kill Australia's motor vehicle manufacturing industry stone dead.

Mrs Mirabella interjecting

The member for Indi must know it. The industry would be telling the member for Indi that that policy will destroy tens of thousands of jobs.

Mrs Mirabella interjecting

And that is not some piece of political rhetoric; that is the reality of the policy position—


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