Canberra defends automotive handouts

The Federal Government has talked up the benefit of its support for the automotive industry after Ford and Holden revealed they'd received over $3.3 billion in handouts.

AAP reports a spokesperson for Industry Minister Greg Combet said the financial assistance helped support jobs and technology, and brought on other economic benefits.


“The New Car Plan is supporting investment by auto manufacturers in improving their competitiveness and delivers significant spin off benefits for Australia's economy,” they said.


Yesterday General Motors Holden said it had received $2.2 billion in assistance over the last 12 years, and Ford claimed it had received $1.1 billion for the decade ending in 2011.


Holden chairman Mike Devereux told the AFR the handouts spurred economic growth and kept the industry afloat.


“For the $150 million a year you get $2.7 billion of economic activity generated by having Holden make things in this country. It is 18 times the investment,” he said.


He also told AAP a local car making industry would be “absolutely impossible” without Government assistance.


In addition to the financial support already provided tor car makers, the Government has announced plans to boost automotive suppliers with a new round of funding.