Last week on Wednesday 11th April, it was announced that APV Automotive Components would be going into voluntary liquidation. This underscores the importance of manufacturing for Melbourne and more importantly in Wills.
The fact that this company has been going since 1946, that 126 workers are presently without work, and that Ford, Holden and Toyota all look to it to supply parts make it an important component of Melbourne’s manufacturing infrastructure.
Last week I had discussions with the newly appointed administrator Stephen Longley, and with the Vehicle Building Division of the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union.
I indicated to both that I am ready to help in any way I can. I understand that APV Automotive Components parent company received a $4.5 million Structural Adjustment Program Grant not so long ago. I will be pursuing the way in which that money was used, as both workers and taxpayers will want to be satisfied that that money was used to secure the best possible future for APV.
On Thursday 12th April I met with Mr Julian Grobler, Customer Service Manager for AusIndustry, to discuss support for manufacturing in the Wills electorate to ensure it remains globally competitive with the introduction of a carbon price on July 1 this year.
I am a strong supporter of the Australian Government’s programs to assist manufacturing in Victoria. The Australian Government’s Automotive Industry Structural Adjustment Program provides support to the automotive supply chain to achieve greater scale and retain core capabilities. Additionally, as part of its recent co-investment with Holden, the Government announced a new $35 million Automotive New Markets Initiative to help component manufacturers develop new business opportunities domestically and overseas.
The Prime Minister’s Taskforce on Manufacturing held its second meeting in Melbourne on Wednesday 11th April, with the Minister for Industry and Innovation updating the Taskforce on measures to strengthen Australian Industry Participation rules for major private sector and government funded projects. These measures will significantly improve opportunities for local suppliers and service providers to win contracts on large resources and infrastructure projects.
Without initiatives like this, the high Australian dollar will see manufacturing continue to retreat and, we will end up with a two state economy. Queensland and Western Australia will benefit from the mining boom, but states like Victoria will not.