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Minority report quotes Paul Keating

Cruise control: A minority report written by South Australian senator Sean Edwards (left) and Queensland Nationals senator Chris Ketter says the Automotive Transformation Scheme should come to an end in 2017.

Dissenting report says no change necessary for automotive legislation

General News logo24 Aug 2015

By IAN PORTER

A DISSENTING report from the Senate Economics References Committee looking into the future of the Australian automotive industry says no changes should be made to the Automotive Transformation Scheme (ATS) which is set to wind up in 2017.

Written by South Australian senator Sean Edwards and Queensland Nationals senator Chris Ketter, the minority report quotes former Labor prime minister Paul Keating against the majority report written by New South Wales Labor senator Sam Dastyari.

In the quote from an article in the Sydney Morning Herald in July 2000, Mr Keating asks whether the former Labor government in the 1980s and 1990s “ever hurt anybody liberating them from the car assembly line?”“Of course we didn’t,” he said.

In the dissenting report, senator Edwards said no change was necessary to the ATS, which will “come to a natural conclusion” when Holden and Toyota end their operations in 2017.

He notes that there will be a declining demand for funds as the ATS scheme is linked to production volumes.

“Therefore, there will be a declining demand for the ATS as Australian car production winds down.”

He said the industry had indicated that it would only be drawing down around $175 million of the $500 million that was restored to the ATS funding.

“The government will continue to support component makers in transitioning their businesses to cope with the decline in production as a result of the independent decisions of the car makers to end manufacturing in Australia.

“Most of the savings from the programme will still be realised, based on production volumes as Ford, Holden and Toyota wind down production based on their independent decisions to end domestic car manufacturing.”

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