The Australian Government is supporting new economic and job opportunities in the South Australian and Victorian communities affected by the wind down in domestic car manufacturing, with a $6 million investment in a series of projects worth $16 million from the first round of an innovative transition programme.
Minister for Industry and Science Ian Macfarlane said twelve Australian companies who are suppliers to the automotive industry will benefit from the Automotive Diversification Programme, one of the significant transition programmes in the Australian Government’s $155 million Growth Fund.
Minister Macfarlane and Assistant Minister for Education and Training Simon Birmingham today visited Adelaide-based Monroe Australia Pty Ltd – one of the successful recipients. Monroe, which employs over 200 workers, will receive a grant of $125,000 that will allow the company to proceed with a $270,000 project to manufacture and export specialised powder metal washers used in shock absorbers and strut dampers in cars and trucks across the world.
“The Australian Government is working with industry and components suppliers to identify new opportunities for investment and jobs growth. While the global car makers have made their independent decisions to leave Australia by the end of 2017, it’s innovative investment and pursuing global supply chains that will ensure Australia’s extensive automotive skills base is retained and enhanced,” Mr Macfarlane said.
“There are five streams of the Growth Fund aimed at supporting workers and communities make the transition from the automotive sector and plan for the future.
“Australia is a skilled manufacturing country and through the Growth Fund, as well as the initiatives in the comprehensive Industry Innovation and Competitiveness Agenda, we are working with industry to ensure Australia develops its manufacturing industries by focussing on areas of competitive strength.
“This is an innovative programme that is helping companies to either expand into the international automotive market or transition into new sectors.”
The first round of grants totalling $6.72 million will enable projects worth $16.2 million to proceed.
Assistant Minister for Education and Training, Senator Simon Birmingham said the Australian Government’s Growth Fund was targeted at the regions where the wind up of automotive manufacturing would have the biggest impact.
“South Australia has a long and proud history as one of Australia’s manufacturing hubs,” Senator Birmingham said.
“While the winding up of production at Holden is a significant change for this region, we also have new opportunities to capitalise on Adelaide’s manufacturing expertise and existing market connections to reinvest in new products, new supply chains and new jobs.
“As well as encouraging new investment in manufacturing and product innovation, the $155 million Growth Fund will help workers build on existing skills and gain new skills that are transferable to other sectors, such as health services, food and agriculture, tourism and education, as well as advanced manufacturing.
“Our government is ensuring we boost employment prospects of employees and students and lift business productivity, ultimately improving the competitiveness of Australia's economy.”
Mr Macfarlane said the Australian Government would continue to support businesses, workers and communities affected by the closure of the car industry, through a comprehensive series of policies aimed at transition assistance and building a sustainable, long-term future for Australian manufacturing.
The Government will maintain the Automotive Transformation Scheme (ATS) in its original form as legislated.
The ATS will remain in place and will come to a natural conclusion at the end of 2017 when Holden and Toyota end their Australian manufacturing operations, following Ford in 2016.
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.
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.
The Growth Fund is a joint investment fund in which the Australian Government is supporting companies that are investing in their own future. The South Australian and Victorian Governments have also contributed to the fund.
Applications for round two of the programme open today. The Ministerial Guidelines have been expanded to include grant support for investment in state-of-the-art second-hand capital equipment and reconfiguration expenditure. Interested companies are encouraged to find out more by visiting www.business.gov.au.