Toyota Closure: Oh What a (Sinking) Feeling
Call on Federal Government to urgently implement an automotive transition plan to save thousands of jobs
Senator Nick Xenophon says the announcement late today by Toyota that it would cease car production in Australia by October this year “highlighted the jobs emergency now facing southern Australia in the absence of an automotive transition plan.”
Senator Xenophon has long campaigned for the Federal Government to have a comprehensive automotive transition plan when car making finally ends this October with Toyota and Holden ceasing production.
There is currently $1.3 billion underspent in the Automotive Transformation Scheme (ATS) and a massive oversubscription to the Automotive Diversification Program (ADP), with hundreds of small to medium businesses around the country seeking grants to diversify their business into other areas of manufacturing.
“By holding onto this money, and not having a transition plan for the auto sector, the government is pursuing the worst form of false economy. There is no doubt that the direct jobs lost and the multiplier effect of this sector shutting down will be a multi-billion dollar hit to the Australian economy unless there is a Plan B. And that doesn’t even take into account the massive social costs that will ensue with this shutdown of an entire industry,” says Nick.
“The fallout could impact on as many as 150,000 jobs – mainly in SA and Victoria. Unless the government treats this as the jobs emergency it is, there will be deep scars on our nation’s economy and communities for decades to come.”
Senator Xenophon again called on the Federal Government and Industry Minister Arthur Sinodinos to convene an urgent summit on the future of Australia’s manufacturing sector which has shrunk by half in the last decade.