With Heinz shutting down a factory in Victoria’s north and Ford jobs under threat in Geelong, the manufacturing sector is under threat in Australia. Don’t worry though, Labor has come to the rescue, chipping in $34 million in an effort to keep the car industry afloat.
FORD has guaranteed its Australian operations for the next five years, investing $103 million in clean technology and other upgrades for the locally produced Falcon and Territory models.
The Victorian and Federal governments, which will tip in $34 million, announced the total investment package of more than $103 million.
Whether or not the continuous government assistance Ford has received is healthy or sustainable is one thing, but perhaps relieving the pressure on the manufacturing sector would be more effective. A good start would be to dump the impending carbon tax.
LABOR’S latest grants to the struggling Australian car industry risk being undermined by its own clean energy plans, with millions of dollars of the subsidies to be eaten up by the carbon tax and higher electricity costs associated with the new regime.
Anger in the industry over the impact of the carbon tax – and the fact that domestic manufacturers will have to absorb the cost while many importers will not – has permeated negotiations as the government has sought commitments from Ford and General Motors Holden to continue their operations in Australia.
…But calculations based on Ford’s previous emissions suggest that, when the $23-a-tonne carbon tax begins on July 1, its maximum bill for direct emissions may be $3.3m over the next four years.
It could also pay a maximum $19.8m in higher prices as the cost of the carbon tax is passed on by suppliers, particularly electricity providers.
Back to the Heinz situation:
HEINZ will sack 146 workers when it closes the doors on a tomato sauce factory in Victoria’s north.
The company will complete its last day of production at the Girgarre factory on Friday before moving sauce production to New Zealand, shutting the doors on employees and three tomato growers.
If you’re wondering why we’re losing jobs to New Zealand, then you needn’t look further than the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Index. The Kiwis are sitting nicely at third, while we’re stuck down at 15th, down from 9th three years ago, three years under Labor.