Federal support needed to save automotive parts makers: SA govt

The South Australian government has said that federal funding is required to help save the state’s automotive components manufacturers.

Premier Jay Weatherill, who released the government’s 10-year strategy yesterday, has warned that the state’s manufacturers suffered “devastation”, reports The Australian.

The plan, delivered in response to a report by Professor Goran Roos on the state’s manufacturing industry in March, includes encouraging automotive suppliers to diversify “into non-automotive supply chains and markets".

A spokesman for federal industry minister Greg Combet told The Australian, “We will continue discussions with the SA government about ways of ensuring the automotive manufacturing sector can develop new business opportunities.”

Federal assistance programs for the automotive industry such as the Automotive New Markets scheme and the co-investment scheme between the federal and SA governments are already in place to assist the sector.

The SA opposition has criticised the plan, coming after the government had cut funds to programs supporting innovation.

"We talk about a little bit of money going into innovation, this is the Government that closed Innovate SA,” deputy opposition leader Steven Marshall told the ABC.

“This is the Government which closed the South Australian Centre for Manufacturing.”