Senate debates

Monday, 9 December 2013

Questions without Notice: Take Note of Answers

Automotive Industry

3:19 pm

Photo of Dean SmithDean Smith (WA, Liberal Party) Share this | Hansard source

Thank you very much. Nick Champion said:

I think we should abstain in the Senate, allow the Abbott Government to implement its policies in their entirety in terms of carbon, that is Direct Action and the repeal of the carbon price and that would basically make him responsible for climate policy in Australia.

That is absolutely correct. By making him responsible for climate policy, we will reduce the costs on Australian manufacturers. You would think that was simple.

Let me be clear. The Australian government has a position. If you go to the internet, you can see it as well. On 30 October it was made very, very clear. The media statement reads:

The Coalition Government has been clear since day one. We will take a careful and methodical approach to considering the future of the Australian automotive industry, and that response will be based on the Productivity Commission review of the sector.

The media statement goes on:

The only way to give this industry and its future the detailed consideration it deserves is to put the politics aside. This is still my—

that is, Mr Macfarlane's—

intention. It's up to Premier Weatherill—

the South Australian premier—

to decide if it's his intention also.

There is no mistaking that government senators from South Australia support the Australian car industry and support the car industry in their own state.

If I had more time, I would share what happened under the previous government when it came to the Australian car industry. Let me be quick. Vehicle production in Australia was over 335,000 units a year. When Labor left office, it was down to 221,000. There were 200 businesses in the automotive supply chain; now there are fewer than 150. That is a 25 per cent reduction.

Let's be clear again. What did Labor cut? They cut the Green Car Innovation Fund twice, by $200 million each time. Then they abandoned it altogether, reducing support to the automotive industry by a further $800 million. (Time expired)


No comments