A gathering of top level automotive industry leaders has brokered a solution to keep Tasmanian company ACL Bearings in business.
According to Industry Minister, Senator Kim Carr said the Federal Government, along with senior representatives from Ford and Toyota, workers and the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union, the Federation of Automotive Products Manufacturers and ACL management have been working overtime to reach a solution for ACL bearings and the broader industry.
“ACL has been facing insolvency as a result of the global recession,” Carr said.
“This is a decision in the national interest. If ACL had collapsed, Ford and Toyota would have been in very difficult circumstances.
“Thousands of workers would have been stood down and production lines would have halted. There would also have been serious flow-on implications for other parts makers, who supply Ford and Toyota.
“The Federal Government has previously approved a grant of $4 million, that will be extended to $7 million after the company applied for the additional funds, under the Automotive Industry Structural Adjustment Program (AISAP).
“The $7 million will be used for a very significant restructuring initiative to take place over the next three years, and is conditional on the company making new investments from its own resources and reaching agreed milestones.”
Carr said no jobs are expected to be lost at ACL.
“Ford and Toyota have also made significant concessions as part of the industry-led solution. Workers have also made considerable sacrifices to ensure the health of ACL.
“The automotive industry is at the epicentre of the global recession, but Australia’s industry is doing much better than most.
“Today’s announcement illustrates the critical nature of the nation’s 200 parts makers. Keeping them healthy is a central part of the Government’s $6.2 billion New Car Plan for a Greener Future.
“Today’s announcement is about maintaining critical capacity in an industry that is the cornerstone of manufacturing in Australia. This is the kind of result we get when the industry and the Government knuckle down and work together to work on the really tough problems,” Senator Carr said.
Member for Bass, Jodie Campbell, said: “This is a great result for Tasmania and the nation. 280 Launceston families are breathing a sigh of relief at the news ACL will stay in business.
“I have been working very hard to secure the future of ACL, and am very pleased at the cooperative result that has been achieved today,” she said.