News National Govt gives $40m to car workers
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Govt gives $40m to car workers

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The Federal Government has allocated an additional $40 million to support car industry workers who will lose their jobs as a result of major companies moving operations offshore.

The extra $40 million will go to The Growth Fund, an existing fund set up in response to decisions by Ford, Holden and Toyota to stop making cars in Australia.

The extra money will go towards retraining workers and assisting car components companies in finding new markets.

According to the ABC, the increase takes the Commonwealth’s contribution to $100 million, with an additional $55 million coming from the Victorian and South Australian governments, Holden and Toyota.

Victorian Premier Denis Napthine said the extra fund will be welcomed by workers and the industry.

“This is about assisting the workers affected by these changes. This is about assisting businesses affected by these changes,” he said.

“This is about and providing new and even better opportunities for those workers and those businesses.”

A commitment to the recovery package is yet to come from South Australia, which has been asked to contribute $12 million to the fund.

South Australia Treasure Tom Koutsantonis said he wants to see the details of how the fund will be divided before he makes any commitments.

“I welcome their increased investment … I think everyone realised, including the Commonwealth, that their initial investment was insignificant and not good enough,” he said.

“I think they were slightly embarrassed by what they had invested – $100 million is better, but we’ve got to make sure before we co-invest that we get the appropriate amount spent in this state.”

However, Federal Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane says an agreement with South Australia has been reached, according to the ABC.

“They have agreed,” he said.

“I spoke yesterday to Tom Koutsantonis, the Treasurer, and also the Resources and Energy Minister – they have agreed.

“But there are further discussions going on, both with Victoria and South Australia, about the potential expansion of the scheme.”

He added: “I’m confident that over the next four years we’ll be able to put in place a transition which minimises the pain to those individually involved, but gives us the best opportunity in the long term.”