Federal Member for Ballarat, Catherine King, said Opposition Treasury spokesman Joe Hockey has no plan for jobs and would wreck the very industry he visited in Ballarat today.
“Mr Hockey had the temerity to visit a car component manufacturer and whinge about a carbon pricing system which is already benefitting Ballarat business,” Ms King said.
“There is a stark difference between Labor and the Coalition on the future of automotive manufacturing in Australia.
“Labor’s New Car Plan provides $5.4 billion in support to 2020-21 which is driving competitiveness and investment to support jobs in the sector.
“The Coalition wants to slash $2 billion from this support, which would mean the end of car-making in Australia and tens of thousands of workers losing their jobs.
“I wonder if Mr Hockey told his hosts that when he visited this morning?”
Ms King said that, at the same time, the carbon pricing regime was already benefitting Ballarat industry with both Mars and Springhill Farm taking advantage of the Clean Energy Investment Program to become more energy efficient and competitive.
“In addition the Government has a $1 billion investment plan to boost Australian innovation, productivity and competitiveness to generate business opportunities and economic growth for the future.
“The Government’s Industry and Innovation Statement, A Plan for Australian Jobs, will back firms in our region and elsewhere to win more work at home, support industry to win new business abroad and help our small businesses to thrive and grow.
“In contrast the Opposition is bereft of ideas for industry and jobs.”
Ms King said the Government has created around 900,000 jobs and has strong economic credentials.
“Australia now has a Triple-A credit rating from all three global ratings agencies for the first time in the nation’s history, something which has never occurred under a Coalition Government,” Ms King said.
“And the Reserve Bank’s official cash rate is 3 per cent – lower than it was at any time under the last Liberal Government.
“This means a family with a $300,000 mortgage is paying around $5,000 less in repayments a year than the Liberals saddled them with when they left office.
“The financial management credentials of this Government far outweigh those of the previous Coalition Government and the people of Ballarat and region are entitled to be deeply suspicious of the motives of Mr Hockey and his colleagues,” Ms King said.