Federal government car summit to be held today

A summit involving the federal government and representatives for Australia’s three car manufacturers is being held today in Melbourne, in response to Ford’s decision to stop making cars in the country in 2016.

ABC’s AM reports that this is the first time that industry minister Greg Combet has met with Ford since its announcement on May 23 that it would end its Australian car-making operations, though continue to perform R&D locally. Nearly 1,200 jobs will be lost in October 2016 when the company closes its Geelong and Broadmeadows factories.

Combet said yesterday that the meeting would consider “key pressures that the industry is facing at present and discussing what the public policy settings should and may not be, and ensure that the government assists the industry to meet those pressures,” Bloomberg reports.

“We are one of only 13 countries in the world that can build a car from the drawing board up… So it is very important engineering capacity that we have got in Australia. That is something that is very important for the economy.”