Abbott swings into Wacol
OPPOSITION leader Tony Abbott was back in the western corridor yesterday at the Volvo factory in Wacol to announce the Coalition's policy on manufacturing.
It was his second visit to the region since the election was called, following on from his visit to JBS Australia at Dinmore.
Mr Abbott's future plans for manufacturing include progressively restoring funding to export market development grants, starting with an initial $50 million boost, and establishing a $50 million manufacturing transition fund to provide assistance to communities and industries as they transition to new areas of manufacturing growth.
"I'm very pleased to be here at Volvo today because this is proof that we can make ... sophisticated things in this country without a government subsidy and do so, profitably, and export from this plant," Mr Abbott said.
"If we get the economic fundamentals right, then we give our businesses, generally - including our manufacturers - the best opportunity to invest, to employ, to compete, to innovate and to succeed."
But Blair MP Shayne Neumann said the Coalition's policy offered nothing in real terms for plants such as Volvo, that employs over 500 people at Wacol, or for the manufacturing industry generally.
"He's ripping $750 million out of the car industry and he voted against assistance to the steel industry in federal parliament," Mr Neumann said.
"It took Labor to support the manufacturing industry with all our car industry and steel industry packages."