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The Australian Motor Industry Federation (AMIF) today slammed the Labor Party’s ‘New Car Plan for the 2020s’ as a policy pronouncement worthy of the in-flight napkin it was obviously written on.

AMIF CEO, Richard Dudley, said the ‘new’ plan should be seen for what it is – a thinly disguised attempt to buy votes in marginal electorates; a distraction from the lost jobs, lost sales, cancelled orders, industry instability and uncertainty, caused by proposed changes to FBT rules; and a disguise for an ongoing lack of knowledge and understanding of the entire Australian Automotive industry and the unprecedented Change impacting it.

‘This announcement perpetuates the current ad-hoc, dysfunctional policy narrative that starts with car and car component manufacturing and ends with the delivery of the new car to the dealer, only this time it sets new benchmarks for larger buckets of money, over longer timeframes with even less detail for only 25% of the industry,’ Mr Dudley said.

“As in the past, it fails to take into account the unprecedented change impacting the other 75% of the Australian automobile industry, the 100,000 businesses employing a further 320,000 Australians in sectors who sell, service, repair and recycle Australia’s 17 million strong vehicle fleet,‘ he added.

Mr Dudley said it was clear the Labor Party is not content with their past ad‐hoc policy ‘achievements’ with today’s announcement rounding off an Herculean and unprecedented month of incredulous pronouncements and policy on‐the‐run.

AMIF said this approach to an industry as critical as automotive had to stop and repeated its call for a Green/White Paper on the entire Australian Automotive industry.

‘450 automotive businesses on average are closing each year with this number climbing rapidly. The acute shortages of skilled workers are dramatically affecting the productivity and continued viability of many automotive sector businesses, Mr Dudley said.

‘2700 people left car and car component manufacturing in 2011/12 but more than 13,000 people left the automotive service and repair sectors over the same period. Yet recent research showed there is a shortage of 19,000 skilled mechanics in Australia now. Where are these issues reflected in the new car plan.

‘Given that the automotive retail, service, repair and recycling sectors make up the largest concentration of small business in Australia, and the depth of Australia’s reliance on the motor vehicle, it is irresponsible to consider any policy mechanism outside of a White Paper/Green Paper to develop comprehensive, evidence based policy to guide and sustain the medium and long term future of the Australian automotive industry.” Mr Dudley concluded.

For further information, please contact Mr Richard Dudley, CEO of AMIF on (02) 6273 8222 or 0412 146 828.

AMIF’s position paper Automotive 2018 - An Industry at Crossroads can be viewed at www.amif.com.au.