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Labor pledges millions to restart local car manufacturing

By Cameron Kirby, 09 May 2019 News

Labor pledges millions to restart local car manufacturing

If elected to government, the Australian Labor Party will endeavour to see cars built on Aussie soil once more

Over a year since the last Aussie-built car rolled off the production line, Labor has proposed a $57 million fund to restart local manufacturing.

It’s part of the Australian Labor Party’s electric vehicle policy, which aims to have 50 percent of cars sold in 2030 powered by electricity.

Read: Australia Federal Election 2019: Electric car debate

If elected, an ALP government would use the money to fund a research and development initiative to develop an electric car industry in Australia, focusing on creating EV design and manufacturing jobs in Australia.

Ford, Toyota, and Holden each have design studios in Australia, however all shuttered their factories in recent years.

Both Holden and Ford have proving grounds in Victoria, which still operate and are used to develop vehicles for the global market.

Labor's Innovation, Industry, Science and Research spokesman Kim Carr said it was important for Australian jobs to be generated in the electric car sector.

2019 Federal Election: The truth about electric vehicles

"You've got to have government leadership to be able to take advantage of those new business opportunities that are emerging," he added.

"We've got to make sure that Australia is part of that.

“We've got to make sure that there are blue collar opportunities in terms of meeting the challenges of climate change."

Mr Carr stated the multi-billion-dollar electric vehicle strategy (which includes the $57 million fund) would be paid for by Labor’s plan to “close tax loopholes”.

Read: New electric cars arriving in Australia in 2019

The Liberal National Party has rebuked Labor’s EV policy, with Prime Minister Scott Morrison describing it as a “war on the weekend”, with Small and Family Business Minister Michaelia Cash falsely claiming that 2030 target would result in the death of dual-cab utes.

“We are going to stand by our tradies and we are going to save their utes,” she said last month.