South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill has said that the state's Liberal Opposition’s approach to manufacturing will help local jobs go overseas.
The Australian reports that Weatherill called Opposition Leader Steven Marshall "an enemy to the cause of trying to save manufacturing".
The Premier claimed that Marshall will allow low-end jobs to be lost to Asia for good and focus the South Australian economy on research and development and the high-end intellectual property.
Marshall is currently visiting Malaysia and Indonesia. He said that Indonesia is set to become the largest buyer of car components within the next five years and that this represents great opportunities for Australia.
"That's the direction that I think that we'll be taking in many areas in terms of manufacturing – keeping the high-end parts of it, the R&D, the design in Australia but actually getting the manufacturing done overseas, and therefore getting into these global supply chains where we can focus on the things that we're good at," Marshall said
As AAP reports, Weatherill rejected Marshall’s position and said that this speculation “might be good for a few businesses but it's devastating for the workers."
He said that Australia needs the auto sector as it acts as a training ground for the whole manufacturing industry.
"It's the one that brings together the skills, the know-how, the knowledge," he said.