Public servants should buy Australian-made cars: Victorian opposition

The state opposition has said that Victoria’s 200,000 public servants could support Australian car manufacturers by only being allowed to purchase Holdens, Fords and Toyotas.

All three companies have shed staff this year, most recently last Friday at Ford, as the persistently strong Australian dollar makes imports cheaper.

Daniel Andrews, Victoria’s opposition leader, told the Herald Sun that, "Victoria is Australia's manufacturing heartland, employing thousand of workers and Labor wants to make sure it stays that way" 

"The car industry is critically important to our manufacturing sector's future, employing … thousands of Victorians and driving investment, technology transfer, innovation and skills."

The AMWU has long been suggesting that Australian governments procure locally, both from car makers and elsewhere.

"One of the things that has changed is with vehicle leasing and novated leasing, companies used to have fleets and they would buy Holdens or Fords, now employees choose and there can be any car in the carpark," said the AMWU’s Dave Smith.

"If we get some volume back into the factories, it would secure those jobs and secure jobs at the components suppliers."

The opposition's suggestion does not include specialist cars such as emergency services vehicles.