The Australian government has announced a AU$6.2 billion rescue package to bailout the country’s struggling automotive industry
The package will be distributed over a period of 13 years, between now and 2021, and will support jobs at a time of a global financial crisis and into the future, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd says.
The nation needed a green-car industry that would create high-paid, high-skilled green jobs for the future, he said launching the government's new car industry plan in Melbourne yesterday.
The plan sets aside AU$500 million for a green car innovation fund and Mr Rudd said Australia could be world leader in green car technology.
"Some might say it's not worth trying to have a car industry, that is not my view, it is not the view of the Australian government and it never will be the view of any government which I lead," he said.
Australian Industry Minister Kim Carr justified the bailout package in line with international similarities, and argued that the automotive industry in Australia indirectly employs around 200,000 workers - 1/50th of the local labour force.
Along with the additional aid, the government also confirmed it would halve car tariffs to 5% from 10% in 2010.
The Australian auto industry produced 327,984 vehicles in 2007, 5% fewer than in 2000. The three major vehicle producers, General Motors Holden, Toyota, and Ford, also generated net losses of $449 million last year.