AMWU pushes govt for early decision on car industry

Auto workers are pushing the Coalition Government to bring forward its decision on future funding for car manufacturing, as they believe if the decision comes next year it may be too late.

AAP reports that that a delegation of auto workers and their representatives, including AMWU national secretary Paul Bastian, met with Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane in Canberra yesterday.

Following the meeting, Bastion told reporters that he was “very worried” that the government may leave it until too late to decide on future funding. (The government plans to wait for the findings of a review into the industry by the Productivity Commission before deciding).

Bastian said that the meeting was constructive and said that it was good to have dialogue with the minister. But he added that he believed that, if the Labor government was still in power, it would have already made a decision about further funding.

For its part, Holden also does not want until next year. The company would like a decision before Christmas.

Communications between Holden and the government have essentially stalled. The company was invited to join the delegation that met with Macfarlane yesterday but declined to take part.

And GM’s head of operations in the Asia-Pacific region, Europe, Africa and the Middle East, Stefan Jacoby recently declined a government request for a meeting with Macfarlane.

Jacoby was in Australia to view the Holden model range and meet some of the engineers who developed the range. However, apart from failing to meet the Industry minister, he also didn’t meet any of the Workers from the Elizabeth facility.