Industry minister, Senator Kim Carr, has tasked members of the newly established Automotive Industry Innovation Council with championing innovation in the industry.
“The industry is undergoing a transformation in order to prepare for a low-carbon future with high-tech, high-skill and high-wage jobs. The council will coordinate this transformation,” Senator Carr told the council’s first meeting.
“The council comprises representatives of the three car makers, component producers, the research community, unions and government agencies. They are talented leaders and champions across the automotive industry, and are thinkers and doers.
“Innovation plays an important role in improving productivity, competitiveness, skills and sustainability. Consequently, the council will provide strategic advice and champion on innovation and help to build connections in the industry.
“The automotive industry is critical to the Australian economy and the Australian community but, like many industries, it faces emerging challenges,” Senator Carr said.
“Despite the state of the global financial system and the global industry, it is pleasing that the Australian automotive industry is planning for a sustainable future.
“Toyota Australia will produce a hybrid Camry in Australia from 2010 and GM Holden will build a small four-cylinder vehicle, made possible with assistance from the Green Car Innovation Fund.
In addition, just a week after the $6.2 billion A New Car Plan for a Greener Future was launched, Ford Australia announced it will retain its Geelong engine plant until at least 2013.
“These decisions are good for motorists and good for Australian jobs because they demonstrate the Australian Government and producers’ commitment to a sustainable local automotive industry,” Senator Carr said.
The Industry Innovation Councils are critical tools for engaging with stakeholders to strengthen innovation systems. The Automotive Industry Innovation Council is the third to be established.