Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has claimed the opposition would kill car manufacturing in Australia if it wins government in the September election.
AAP reports that Mr Rudd defended his government’s changes to fringe benefits tax laws and talked up the new assistance package for the industry.
"Mr Abbott is effectively saying vote for him (and) that's the end of car manufacturing in Australia. We know that, everyone in the industry knows that," he told Sky News.
"If you want to see a car industry in Australia at all – and the 50,000 workers who depend on it directly, and the 200,000 workers who depend on it indirectly – then there is only one course of action, which is to get behind our approach."
The government has pledged to give the automotive manufacturing industry an extra $500 million from 2016 to 2020. And on top of that, hundreds of millions more in assistance will be provided over the subsequent decade.
However, as the government attempts to bolster the sector, the changes to the FBT laws are claimed by some in the industry to be having the opposite effect and damaging the industry.
Ford employees are currently involved in six planned stoppages, and the company has blamed the FBT changes for record low sales of Falcon cars.