ABC News 24 The Business

A Holden Commodore was the last car to
roll off the production line today as
car making came to an end in Australia.
About 950 workers stayed until the end
while 800 have left since the company’s
announcing in 2013 that it would close
thousands of people employed by
component suppliers have also had to cut
staff or closed altogether
You can’t take out what was a very important fact
of life for South Australia – that is the
car industry – without supplying the
answer: what does the future look like?
and we know what it looks like it’s
going to be things like a high-tech
manufacturing it’s going to be our
defence industries.
Labor says the
closure of the heavily subsidised car
industry in Australia was an avoidable
Labor’s industry spokesman claims Labor would have kept the car industry open he says neoliberalism has
failed and a future Labor Government
will put taxpayers money into
supporting manufacturing.
I spoke to the Shadow
Minister for industry innovation and
science Senator Kim Carr earlier today.
Kim Carr thank you for joining The Business
Thank you
You said that the car industry was able
to survive seven decades, but was only
able to survive five years of the
Coalition but isn’t it fair to say the
only reason it was able to survive those
seven decades is with huge public
subsidies that one day had to end.
No, that’s not true.
All around the world governments make
choices we are one at this point we are
one of 19 countries in the world that
can make a car from the point of
intellectual conception through to the showroom floor
that is we have the
capacity to design, build and maintain
our vehicles very few countries in the
world can do that
all of the countries in the world do so with significant Co-investment and by international
standards Australian support for the
automotive industry was very modest
less than the price of a footy ticket on a
per capita basis
Andrew Charlton former Labor economic adviser disagrees with you on this he says that by the end why
today actually had the most subsidised
car industry
in the world in that it was $50,000 by
his calculation per worker that’s a huge
amount I know you’re using a per capita
amount but that’s a big subsidy isn’t it
for the car well I disagree with him and
furthermore that’s the International
comparison that is widely recognized so
there’s all sorts of ways you know
there’s lies and damned lies and then
there’s statistics as we we’ll know
there’s an ideological argument here
about the importance of the automotive
industry now I’m of the view that the
automotive industry represented a
strategically important part of our
manufacturing it provided 15% of our R&D
well why is it though that the car
industry is treated differently than a
lot of other industries a lot of other
industries would love some government
support why should the car industry be
treated different tell me this which
industries don’t get government support
go through the productivity’s
approach to these is they list out the
support you know we were spending more
money on sheep and goats than we were on
the auto industry as I say the level of
support for the auto industry isn’t that
an argument though to actually remove
other industries it’s a recognition of
the realities of real world economics
real world economics not the fantasies
of textbook economists well let’s look
at the future you have announced this
one billion dollar for a future
manufacturing fund would you say will
offer equity concessional loans and loan
guarantees how are you going to ensure
that you are not backing companies
industry sectors that are in no other
way feasible well let us think about
what’s happening at the moment the Clean
Energy Corporation provides support
because the banks don’t highly
profitable it makes money for the
government it makes money for the people
of Australia aren’t you concerned about
the idea of government being involved in
picking winners and losers as a word for
industry isn’t that up to losers
well we don’t want to risk though isn’t
there by investing this 1 billion
dollars into concession loans taking
equity positions in companies how are
you going to ensure the money we have we
have a new peanut board run by experts
who actually know what they’re doing but
people actually
Stane industry not people who live in
the free frost world or delay and then
to understand it better than those
people like finance ears banks who are
whose bread and butter some banks if
bread and butter is actually investing
me something why would government know
better now their idea their idea of the
welfare of the nation is speculation in
screen jockey industries not in building
industrial capacity not in the welfare
of our people it’s about playing with
the stock exchange in other people’s
countries it’s not about building the
economic welfare of our nation Jim
Carroll oscillator there thank you so
much your time thank you

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