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by Tim Beissmann

The Victorian and South Australian premiers will use today’s Council of Australian Governments (COAG) meeting to encourage other states and territories to use more Australian-made cars to support the local automotive manufacturing industry.

AAP reports Victorian Premier Denis Napthine and South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill will push other government leaders to lease or purchase locally manufactured vehicles whenever possible.

Napthine said government vehicle fleet policies needed to reflect the importance of the automotive manufacturing industry to local jobs.

“Premier Weatherill and I will be urging other states and territories to consider a similar approach to local procurement for all government vehicle fleets,” the Victorian premier told AAP.

“It is important for governments to step up and support investment and jobs in the industry.”

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The Victorian Government’s Australian Manufactured Vehicle Policy states, “only passenger vehicles that are substantially manufactured in Australia are permitted for lease or purchase”. The policy also applies to light commercial vehicles “except where no Australian-manufactured vehicle required for the task is available”.

The South Australian and Commonwealth governments are the only others to have policies promoting the lease and purchase of locally manufactured vehicles.

The news comes just one week after Weatherill said his government would “not be providing financial assistance to Holden … unless new acceptable terms are reached” following the local car maker’s decision to axe 500 jobs by August.

Sales of Australian-made vehicles across both the private and non-private sectors have fallen almost 30 per cent this year as buyers increasingly overlook the local options for imported models.

2012 Toyota Camry Hybrid - Camry HL (left) and Camry H




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