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Federal, Vic govts maintain support for Aust car industry
10/08/2012 - The federal and Victorian governments say it is important for Australia to maintain a car manufacturing industry, amid criticism of their financial support for the sector.
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Former Victorian premier Jeff Kennett has said governments should not subsidise car companies such as Ford.
He told News Ltd that propping up unprofitable businesses just delayed the inevitable.
But Federal Employment Minister Bill Shorten said positive solutions for the car industry were needed rather than a "sour rant".
Shorten said Kennett was suffering from withdrawal symptoms after being premier.
"Mr Kennett is not right to abandon the car industry," he told reporters in Melbourne on Thursday.
"The automotive industry is important in Australia. It generates real jobs.
"No one needs to hear from Jeff Kennett that times are tough. What we'd rather hear are positive, creative, optimistic solutions, not just some sort of negative, sour rant."
Victorian Premier Ted Baillieu said his government was keen to retain an automotive manufacturing capacity in Australia and in Victoria.
"We have sought to make modest contributions to assist that in happening ... in conjunction with the Commonwealth," he told reporters.
"And the contributions we've made are about helping those organisations, those manufacturers, transition into new models and meet the challenges they are facing.
"There are always different views about this, but we believe it's important for Australia to maintain vehicle manufacturing capacity."
Ford announced in July it would cut 440 Victorian manufacturing jobs as it reduced daily production following a slump in the sale of large cars.
The decision was taken despite a $103 million funding package Ford received from its US parent, the Victorian and federal governments in January, aimed at securing the manufacture of the flagship Falcon and the Territory 4WD at Geelong and Broadmeadows until at least the end of 2016.
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Lou Furbadamo | 13/08/2012 08:59 1
Obviously some irrepressible ex-premiers were never responsible for “doshing” out mass un-employment benefits during cushy stint in power. Cause they’d now be more cautious and apprehensive about advocating rash, knee-jerk and disastrous industry reaction & collapse? That would force State “Treachsury” to obligatory pay far more in unemployment benefits, than the proposed vague $5.4BN Auto Plan flush? So I find myself superficially, siding with up & coming Billy Shorten’s “positive solutions for the car industry were needed rather than a sour rant". And that "No one needs to hear….that times are tough.” And “we'd rather positive, creative, optimistic solutions, not just some sort of negative, sour rant." Although, rather than vaguely “positive”, I’d fancied “objective, efficient restructuring, waste cutting”. Because it’s been extremely positive for snorting politicians, hangers on & bureaucrats for a long time now! And we know that what a lefty comrade says they’ll do and what they then do for themselves, is at best fascinating! Rather than just admonish Big Kenny Hawk, he should enlighten the doom, dire revelations upon shocked upbeat Boom Colleagues!; “We’re so globally fine! Swannee, Juliar, Drs. Boom Goods and errant Richard Head politicos”. Who instead of keeping their eyes and best interest on the job, have proverbially buried their heads in the sand! But who are we to speculate & judge these hard times? When compassion, understanding & forgiveness is biblically due all round, for the Devine Lords “knoweth, that they know not what they do”? And then we’ve “Vic. Teddy Bailulu”, seemingly contented hedging with a bit of sweet, bit of sour, bit of neck sand & maybe even a fence sitters slap & “Craighy” fun tickle? Cause merely seeking to "make modest contributions…in conjunction with the Commonwealth", isn’t saying much & in bad company? and helping “manufacturers, transition into new models & meet challenges they are facing”, vaguely suggests keen Gov. abdicating cahoots, to sweep uncompetitive industries progressively offshore? Too bad for suckered redundant workers! Poor Economic & Industrial comprehension with ineffective tackling of problems suggests it’s all too complex and difficult for our Politicians & ex premiers to properly fathom? So post self interest, solutions tend ignorant, opportunistic & wasteful? Consequently, you’ve the popular errant cop out, easy option of abdicate & abandon! Who quote basic business principles, without full appreciation of consequences; technological, social or economic and represents the unacceptable “potentially disastrous Strategy”. It’s disappointing, that a high profile “perennially contentious Ex leader” of a highly automotive manufacturing dependent state. Would recommend such distant, blunt axe, damming industry assessment and intend it helpful or constructive! You’ve got to wonder just how beneficially committed, understanding, supporting and determined his government must’ve been? And what confidential dooming fate the Vic workers had in store, even back then? When arguably, the insidious industrial rot could’ve been easier stemmed & rectified? Sadly, missed corrective opportunities Galore, made way for the more urgent, rampant mass Gov. excesses & waste! But that’s for the conscious state to reflect on and appropriately condemn? Cause, we must insure that supposedly accountable politicians, begin to understand & respect their proper jobs & responsibilities to the people & workers that elect them? And not just selfish snort & waste!
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