The closure of Melbourne-based APV Automotive Components by administrators today, is an opportunity for Federal and State Government’s to show their commitment to Australian manufacturing.
Acting AMWU Vehicle Division National Secretary, Dave Smith, said news of APV’s closure was devastating for the company’s workers and families and underlined the need for renewed support of the country’s automotive industry.
“Most of the remaining 87 workers who will lose their jobs at the end of August have been employed at APV for 10 to 15 years.
“This country has to work together to stop the destruction of our manufacturing sector and the thousands of jobs it provides.”
Ten years ago two thirds of all Government fleets were locally made, today it’s about a third, Mr Smith said.
“The AMWU has been calling on Government at both a State and Federal level to purchase Australian made vehicles. This wouldn’t happen in other countries. They look after and protect the industries and jobs of their citizens.
“Even with Free Trade Agreements in place, competing countries will find ways to block Australian imports. Look at the Thai Free Trade Agreement, the ink wasn’t even dry and their government placed a tax on vehicles with engine capabilities the same as Australian produced cars.
“Ford Australia’s plans to export the Territory to Thailand were stopped overnight. Since then it has been one-way traffic with Thai made vehicles flooding into Australia. Companies like APV were put at a tremendous disadvantage.”
He said the union would be writing to Federal and State Government along with mayors of every council in Australia to seek their support for procuring Australian made cars.