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An Industry at Crossroads - the Australian Motor Industry Federation's plan for the future survival of the Australian automotive industry

The Australian Motor Industry Federation (AMIF) today demanded an automotive industry Green Paper/ White Paper process be undertaken to address unprecedented change impacting the entire automotive industry not just car manufacturing.

During an address the National Press Club in Canberra, AMIF CEO, Richard Dudley, said the industry was facing a ‘perfect storm’, where every sector of the automobile industry is undergoing generational change.

‘For too long, successive Governments have failed to recognise that the domestic automotive industry does not begin and end with vehicle and component manufacturing and that a new approach is needed that includes the other 75% of the industry who employ 320,000 Australians in 100,000 businesses.

‘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,’ Mr Dudley said:

Mr Dudley said recent research showed there to be a shortage of 19,000 skilled mechanics in Australia now. Those shortages, coupled with the effects of globalisation, environmental protection policy, rapid technological advances, shifting consumer behaviour and the maturation or decline of business life-cycles are creating a maelstrom that will have catastrophic consequences on the entire industry and the sustainability of its services to the community.

‘There must be a different approach to policy planning for the future. For too long, successive Governments have failed to recognise that the domestic automotive industry does not begin and end with vehicle and component manufacturing. This is why we continue to see ineffective, ad-hoc policy that fails to address the critical issues all of the automotive industry is facing.

‘Given that the automotive retail, service, repair and recycling sectors make up the largest concentration of small business in Australia, and 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

AMIF Welcomes the ACCC Authorisation of the End-of-Life Tyre Stewardship Scheme

The determination by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission represents a landmark decision and the culmination of more than a decade of work towards the implementation of a joint Industry Tyre Stewardship Scheme.

Mr Richard Dudley, C.E.O. of the Australian Motor Industry Federation says:

“This is a historic moment for the Australian Automotive Industry. This outcome illustrates the shared commitment of key participants, including the Government, towards reducing the impact of motor vehicles on our nation’s landscape and our community.

In practice today’s Determination by the A.C.C.C. allows the establishment of Tyre Stewardship Australia, a non-for-profit body funded by an end-user contribution equivalent to 25 cents per passenger car tyre. The main purpose of T.S.A. will be to reverse current unsustainable practices associated with the collection and the disposal of end-of-life tyres." He said.

In a comment regarding the determination, ACCC Deputy Chair Dr Michael Schaper provided a clear and encouraging message for all present and future players in the Scheme:

“The ACCC is satisfied that the Scheme is likely to result in a benefit to the public by reducing the volume of used tyres entering the domestic waste stream or being exported overseas and burned for fuel in an environmentally unsustainable way...This will reduce the environmental and health and safety hazards associated with such disposal methods”.

In the words of Mr Silvio de Denaro, Secretary of the Australian Tyre Industry Council: “The Scheme will establish better ways of collecting and disposing of end-of-life tyres ensuring that over time this resource acquires a positive value and is actively sought by recyclers. New markets for tyre-derived products will be encouraged and developed: we very much look forward to working with other important Industry players such as the Australian Motor Industry Federation in developing and implementing this Stewardship Scheme.

For further information please refer to or contact: Mr Richard Dudley, Chief Executive Officer of AMIF on (02) 6273 8222 or 0412 146 828.

The real impact of 457 Visas

The Australian Motor Industry Federation (AMIF) says the 457 Visa debate should return to reality rather than distorting what is really happening in regional and rural communities across Australia.

AMIF says commentary by Government, politicians and others that the current 457 visa scheme is ‘riddled with rorts’; that there should be a cap on 457 Visa’s and Australians should be at the head of jobs cues are a gross distortion of the facts and an emotive response to a valuable source of expertise.

AMIF CEO, Richard Dudley said an environmental scan conducted by national automotive training body, Auto Skills Australia,reveals a current nationwide shortage of 19,000 skilled mechanics alone.

‘If we could find 19,000 skilled mechanics in the Australian-based workforce, we would employ them, but they simply do not exist.We have an environment where automotive businesses are closing each week with lack of staff a key reason,’ Mr Dudley said.

‘The Federal Government’s own Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR) has reconfirmed the shortages we are experiencing with a decision to retain a status of shortage against many automotive professions appearing on the skilled migration list in only the last few weeks. DEEWRs says for all positions advertised nationwide on average only half are filled,’ Mr Dudley said.

AMIF says the Governments commentary that the Mining and Resources Industry are not high end 457 Visa users distorts the realissues and the real impacts, “ Mr Dudley said.

“While the mining industry may itself not utilise 457 Visas to a great extent, the facts are that this industry has already vacuumned local communities across the nation of people including mechanics, other motor trades professionals and other skilled workers and this combined with a diminishing labour pool mean 457 Visas are essential to maintain the expertise needed to provide services.

"In Emerald, Queensland, the local new hospital could not source nurses because they had been employed by the mining industry to drive trucks! In the same regional centre a local vehicle retailer is flying in mechanics from Brisbane on rotation and employing others under 457 Visas to replace the mechanics, body repairers and others who all went to the mining industry.'

Mr. Dudley said the Australian automotive Industry is a high end user of 457 visas and will continue to draw heavily on this employment strategy otherwise there is a real potential of Australia’s reliance on road transport grind to a halt in regional and rural areas.

“Rather than continue to generate some sort of employment class war and social concern, government should be working with all parts of industry together to better plan for a diminishing labour pool, impacts of globalisation and the needs of all Australians to access all the services they need.

For more information or for comment, please contact Mr Richard Dudley, Chief Executive Officer of AMIF on (02) 6273 8222 or 0412 146 828.