Government stalling on support for auto industry

Having destroyed Australia’s automotive industry the Abbott Government is now stalling on providing much-needed support for automotive workers and companies.

The Government succeeded in goading Holden out of the country on 11 December 2013.Almost two months later to the day, the Government still hasn’t released details of how its paltry and inadequate $60 million support package will be allocated. There has been no response to Toyota’s decision. Worse, they are stalling delivery of the $49 million Geelong Region and Melbourne’s North Innovation and Investment Funds that Labor put in place to assist workers and companies transition.

The first round of the program closed almost 5 months ago, on 26 September 2013, but there has still been no announcement of the successful recipients, despite the selection process having been completed before Christmas. This delay is inexcusable. The Government has already failed Australia’s automotive workers and businesses once by not fighting for their jobs and their industry.

Now the Government is failing them a second time but not providing timely assistance to deal with the consequences of their failed industry policies.Every day the Government continues to drag its feet the chances of success for retraining these workers and retooling these businesses diminish.The Government likes to talk big with the Prime Minister promising that “while some businesses close, other businesses open, while some jobs end, other jobs start“ and Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane offering vague reassurances that “new jobs will come out of new innovative industries”.

But the fact is other businesses will not open, other jobs will not start and new industries will not emerge in time to help these workers if the Government continues to sit on its hands.