by Daniel DeGasperi

Kim Carr has been reappointed as the Minister for Industry, Innovation, Science and Research in the federal parliament as part of a new-look Rudd government ministry.

Carr has previously managed the portfolio that directly affects the local automotive industry between 2007 and 2011, before being replaced by Greg Combet. Carr is known as one of the most vocal advocates of retaining a car manufacturing base in Australia, and rejoins the position as Holden and Toyota call for immediate policy decisions to decide the future of manufacturing in this country.

Speaking with Wheels magazine in 2008, Carr described the auto sector as “an indsutry that I believe this country can’t afford to lose.”

“Manufacturing is of enormous value to this country,” he continued. “This is a business that produces in excess of $27 billion per annum of economic activity.

“The government support is repaid many times over.”

Senator Kim Carr Minister for Manufacturing and Minister for Defence Materiel

Carr (above) said that he was familiar with the argument of some critics who believe the government is wasting taxpayer-funded money ‘propping up’ a dying industry. “I call them the ‘Economics Clubs’,” he described.

“I say that we need a balanced economy … I say that advanced industrial countries around the world don’t share the view of the Economics Club, articulated in the editorials of some of our dailies and which show an acute hostility to the automotive industry.”

When Carr handled the industry portfolio he helped initiate the Green Car Innovation Fund, which helped pay for the lightweight body panels to reduce consumption for the just-launched Holden VF Commodore, and also for Toyota to produce the Camry Hybrid locally. His replacement, Greg Combet, as part of the Gillard government, scrapped the Green Car Innovation Fund in early 2011.

Back in 2008, Carr acknowledged that Australia needed the policy vision that Holden MD Mike Devereux, in particular, is now calling for in order to have a car manufacturing future in Australia.

Asked whether he is optimistic about the future of the automotive industry in this country, Carr replied “I am confident, if the right policy decisions are made.”

“I want to see a plan for this industry that I can say will develop over 10 years,” he then continued.

“Because the lead times are so long in this industry, because the investment decisions are so large … and because the skills that come with the creation of the automobile in this country are so important to so many aspects of our economy and our society.”

Mike Devereux

Holden MD Devereux (above) said, in response to Ford’s announcement that it would close its local manufacturing operations from 2016, that “the industry needs swift action to make Australia’s automotive policy settings clear, consistent and globally competitive as quickly as possible.”

Although that sounds like a call to arms to industry-supporter Carr, with an election looming before November 30 a change of government could affect the final outcome.

While the Coalition has pledged to support the deal with Holden to produce the next generation Cruze and Commodore in Australia until at least 2022, shadow minister for industry, Sophie Mirabella, has pledged to cut automotive industry funding if elected.

“We do believe in supporting the car sector but we are reducing it [taxpayer funding] by $500 million a year,” she said on the ABC’s Q&A program in April.

“We [are] asking for greater accountability and transperency and new rules so that taxpayers actually know when, how and why car companies get their money and car companies will need to know what they need to achieve – the benchmarks they need to achieve in order to be granted the privilege of taxpayers’ dollars.”


Mirabella (above) described the car industry as being in a “parlous situation” and described the current Labor government policies as “not working”.

“What the Labor Party did was put the auto industry in a very difficult situation,” she continued.

“They promised them significant policies. We didn’t match those promises and we were criticised for not supporting the car industry enough and we said to people “We will go to the election promising what we know we can deliver.”

“What the Labor Party did was they then cut those policies. They broke $1.4 billion worth of promises [by scarpping the Green Car Innovation Fund]. You know what that does to multinational companies waiting to invest in Australia? It says ‘Don’t trust this Government. You can’t trust them on their word, on their policy’.”

Mirabella has also formally replied to Holden MD Devereux’s remarks in an Adelaide ABC interview that if the carbon tax was removed “there will be a benefit to our costs being lower in this country, no question”.

Holden Manufacturing - 3

“The carbon tax has made it more expensive to make cars in Australia,” remarked Mirabella in a statement.

“The Coalition has repeatedly warned of the impact of the carbon tax on the car industry and now we hear the industry confirm the damage yet again.

“The Coalition is committed to a viable future for the car industry in Australia and, if elected, will act to lower manufacturing costs by immediately repealing this job-destroying carbon tax.”

Speaking of Carr’s reappointment as Minister for Industry, Innovation, Science and Research, the Shadow Minister remarked that “among many other missteps, Mr Carr also foolishly dismantled the Howard Government’s successful car industry programs, broke $1.4 billion of his promises, exposed the sector for the first time to sovereign risk, and precipitated the loss of 80,000 jobs tied to the industry.”

The federal election date is yet to be announced.

  • Shak

    This man may just save the car industry. Hopefully Senator Carr can get back into the swing of things and develop a solid policy platform for the auto manufacturers going forward.

    • dr sheldon cooper

      Instead of GETTING MARCHING ORDERS from Detroit, Australia should develop its OWN car BRAND. GM and Ford (USA) blatantly protect their OWN INTERESTS killing competition from Aust by preventing EXPORT of vastly superior Aus-designed, engineered and made cars. And to add insult to injury for STUNTING Aust growth, they DEMAND billions of dollars of further FINANCIAL SUPPORT from Aus taxpayers! I am American, but this is clearly UNFAIR to Australians.

      Australians deserve their OWN BRAND. You have shown ability in DESIGN, ENGINEERING, and MANUFACTURING. Come up with a TRULY AUSTRALIAN brand,….- NOT just an American franchise – and start EXPORTING worldwide!!!! without CONTROL from the US, or anyone,.

      If the Chinese with VERY LITTLE EXPERIENCE have started their OWN BRANDS (Great Wall, Chery, etc…), so CAN AUSTRALIA!!!!!

      • Shak

        That would be a very nice dream, but it remains that. A dream. Although it may look as if Holden is alone in the world, it relies heavily on GM technology and platforms. All the cars it imports are GM vehicles. Even the Commodore owes more to GM globally now (in VF guise) than it does to genuine Australian innovation.

        Even if Holden were to stop making cars here (heaven forbid) GM would keep importing and probably do just as well. We all know that Aussies are innovative, and can build and engineer genuinely world class cars, but starting a brand from scratch simply for the sake of it being a “truly” Australian brand would require too much time, effort and money. Remember, Toyota and GM owe this country nothing, and if they wanted they could pull out at anytime. We on the other hand benefit to the tune of over $20 billion from having auto manufacturing in this country.

        It makes more sense for our Governments to develop concrete and realistic policies for our existing manufacturers in order to make sure they can survive in our country. We need them more than they need to be here.

        • Dr Sheldon Cooper

          That $20B is govt-speak. They say THAT bec it is MUCH EASIER for the govt to HAND OUT $$$$$ than CREATE truly Aust jobs FOR AUSTRALIANS.

          C’mon, Aussie!!!! Yer mch bettah than this!!!!!

        • Robert Ryan

          It is not doing that well with its current lineup of imports.

      • JoeR_AUS

        ok, who is going to fund buying Holden off GM?

        Might be easier to fly to the US and meet GM and propose how to make our industry world class and part of global economy not a local operations competing for crumbs.

        Chinese government directly controls their automotive industry.

        again you should stick to theoretical physics Sheldon.

        • Dr Sheldon Cooper

          It IS easier to FLY to Detroit but CONVINCE them to import The much BETTER Aussie cars will DESTROY their own. WHY will they do that?
          I would LOVE to stick to theoretical physics but SOMEONE has to help YOU people. (Smirk). BAZINGA!!!!!

      • matt

        We cant afford it dude lol, the people with the financial resources like Clive palmer… are simply greedy self interested pigs. Holden was ours but we lost it early on in the game. The chinese … well. are at least half state owned… and have 1.3 billion people to tax, we have a petty 22 million, with 4.5 million in queensland alone, and 50 billion a year being spent on just queensland health…. I think you can get an idea of where out tax money goes.

        • Dr Sheldon Cooper

          Make it part PRIVATE, part state owned. the govt shd FUND IT instead of wasting $$$$ on this money pit called HOLDEN, sorry Holden fans.

      • pro346

        You do realise that the Chinese brands mentioned are failing in Australia? I could only imagine how bad a government car brand would be… would end up some PC box on wheels a government version of what homer designed in that Simpsons episode! Can you imagine how it would turnout if the greens had any influence!

        • Dr Sheldon Cooper

          Not govt run and owned car company – private! The Chinese are struggling but Australia. DESIGNERS, ENGINEERS , MECHANICS have a lot more experience than the Chinese. And sell to THE WORLD, not just Aust. Again, if the Chinese CAN do it…..

          • $29896495

            Use the Ford plant and tooling when they hit the road. Job done. Australia’s own car.

          • dr sheldon cooper

            You SNATCHED the words right out of my laptop!!!! EXACTLY!! Use the Ford plant, employ the Ford, Holden, Toyota designers, design a competitor for the Camaro, and EXPORT!!!!

            TAKE THAT,Detroit!!

      • gtrxuone

        dr cooper is the VF still getting good feedback in the USA.

        • dr sheldon cooper

          I have NO idea. I am in Aust at the moment. But if I have to guess, I would say no. Not because the VF is a bad car – it is NOT. But because Americans (except the police and taxis) are NOT into large RWD V8s. Unlike Aussies, American hoons are into small, 4 cyl FWD Japanese and Koreans. You will NOT see any souped up Impalas or Crown Vics in ANY Fast and Furious films. The V8s would be coupes (Mustangs, Camaros, Challengers,…).

        • Shak

          Well considering that the Aussie dealers are only just now getting stock, the US definitely doesnt have any VF/SS sedans. Remember they are being made with a 90 day lead time and basically to order so it wont be till around September till we start seeing reviews and tests.

  • Andrew Sherwood

    I couldnt care less if Senator Kim Carr was the minister for tyres. The Australian electorate needs an election now! This Labor government is just holding voters with contempt and the last thing we need is more money being spent to let the car industry survive a few more years. Rudd and Carr think since we’re already billions of dollars in debt noone will really care if we plunge the country into more debt so we can keep Holden and Toyota alive. I hope Kim Carr is getting ready to clean out his office so we can get our economy back on track.

    • JoeR_AUS

      what dont you understand in quote: “This is a business that produces in excess of $27 billion per annum of economic activity”

      The government collects GST, payroll, Company tax, etc of all of this.

      I suppose if the government (who ever they are) misses out on this revenue you wont mind paying extra taxes to support the current budget?

    • horsie

      Andrew, please keep these retarded comments for the Daily Telegraph or maybe Alan Jones. The rest of us are sick of hearing it

      • Sumpguard

        Amen horsie. Another media hoodwinked muppet.

        It doesn’t matter who supports them, they need supporting. This sector is important to Australian manufacturing and I am fairly sure most agree it will be a sad day when ford bow out in 2016.

        • $29896495

          He wants the election now because the tide has turned.

    • Tony Abbotts No1 Fan

      Can you play a different track, this one is becoming boring & only highlights your complete ignorance.

      Go back to 2GB

    • guest

      You only want the election now because you are scared that Abbott might lose, and your favoured party won’t win.
      Andrew Bolt, Piers Akerman, Paul Sheehan, Alan Jones et al can’t keep fooling everyone forever. Eventually scrutiny will fall on Abbott and his clan.

      I also second the abolishing of the Thai trade agreements, or at least applying some extra taxes on products coming from Thailand in order to make them incredibly uncompetitive.

      Free trade is more free for some than others. The problem is that this country, prodded along by pro-capitalists allowed itself to get caught up in the free-trade hysteria and went too far, without putting in place any appropriate safe-guards against nasty tricks and traps from our supposed free-trade partners.

      • Freedom

        Increasing taxes on foreign made cars will only make Mazdas, BMWs, Mercs , etc even more expensive. Why force people to buy Holdens, Fords and Toyotas just to keep jobs? What happened to right of choice?

  • Robin_Graves

    Abolish the blatant lies that are ‘free trade agreements’ with Thailand. Increase tariffs on imports. Force the manufacturers to build cars that people want or lose incentives.

    • JoeR_AUS

      Agree but perhaps put an new tax on imported cars from Thailand as they do on our imports (no free trade there).

      • Shak

        Perfectly acceptable idea. If they wont play nice, then neither will we.

        • Karl Sass

          Personally I believe we can innovate and compete with countries that have a similar currency and living standards like the US, Japan and Western Europe. What we have no chance of competing with is cheap labour with low living standards. No amount of innovation will compensate for manufacturing workers earning a few dollars an hour or less. Therefore I think tariffs should apply to countries with a currency worth less than 30% of the Aus dollar IMO.

          • JoeR_AUS

            if you have time go to the Hyundai web site

            worldwide hyundai com WW Corporate Network Manufacturing index.html

            just add /

            No you can see what a world class facilities looks like

            dedicated pier, capacity 1.5M cars a year

            this is what Australia is competing against

          • $29896495

            Not very entrepreneurial. Doesn’t matter which company you name, they all started somewhere. Koreans being some of the newest are also motivated. That’s the difference. They were all small at some point, a good (even bad in Hyundai’s case) product line at the right price will sell and you as they build on that. Now 15 20 years later, and look at them. ( I take it you are a worker bee?)

    • Richo

      The problem with saying that we should force Holden, Toyota and Ford to “build cars Australian’s actually want” is that while its a very neat soundbite, its actually quite a nieve comment.

      You can’t just decide to build a car one day, then launch in to market the next, it takes 5+ years to take a car from a concept stage through to market, when you then factor in technology leads the time frame blows out even further.

      The VE commodore was launched in 2007, however the decision to build that car was actually made way back in 2002 when the Commodore and Falcon were well and truly the number 1 and 2 cars in the country, fuel was still cheap and Australians still had an appetite for the big aussie car, based on all available research at the time, VE appeared to be the only logical decision, and GM invested literally billions in developing that car.

      Come 2007 when the car was launched, the market had changed incredibly quickly and unpredictably, Holden had a billion dollar investment that they couldn’t just throw in the bin, they had to persist with it and really their only option was to supplement the car with another smaller car to keep the production numbers at Elizabeth at a sufficient level to justify the plant remaining open, which they did with Cruze.

      Holden are now remapping their future and are underway with the development of the “next gen” Commodore which we all know will be a much smaller car then the current gen, but things take time, if your an importer only you can simply stop importing one model and import something else, which is Mazda Australia’s strength, their not actually building and engineering cars, they just look at the catalogue that Japan presents to them and they pick and choose what they want, easy! But when you’ve actually invested money in something, its not possible to just suddenly change direction, its like an ocean liner, it takes a long time to turn one around…

      • Robin_Graves

        i agree, I realise it takes time to develop and there is substantial inertia but the writing has been on the wall for some time. I would like a downsized XR6T wagon with IRS please.

        • Richo

          I think the Commodore Australia probably wants at the moment is a Holden version of the BMW 3 series, but ultimately what we will probably get is a Holden version of a Toyota Camry

          • Monk


          • Rocket

            Problem is we want a Holden equivalent to a 3 series but we want to pay a Camry price.

          • hrteh

            About 1000 people a month are paying 3 series prices for 3 series & C-class.

          • Richo

            So thats 12,000 sales a year then, no where near a sustainable amount of cars hrteh

          • Poison_Eagle

            Depends if Holden engineers are given Epsillon II or it’s successor. I would like to think the next ‘Commodore’ program would be a bit more extensive than Toyota’s localisation program.
            I can’t see buyers accepting a bland appliance like Malibu as the next Commodore.
            It will need to be significantly lighter, better performance and be a bit smaller than VF, to feel agile enough to offset the loss of RWD. I am very interested to see the outcome here, and hope Holden isn’t going to close before 2017.

      • JoeR_AUS

        I agree with what you wrote.

        Now bear in mind we need our local companies to become global. The major difference in Australia is we are a local industry which was sustainable when volumes were over 60,000 a year for a model. However, the car sales pie has got larger in Australia but we now have over 200 models fighting for sales in Australia. Therefore the largest seller, Mazda 3, struggle to get over 45,000. Hence the slices have become smaller. This, is not a problem for Mazda who produce 1.08 million cars a year but for a competitor like Ford Australia who produce around 50,000 cars a year(?) and have similar costs but have 21.6 times less sales to recoup there investment.

        So the plan would be to make global cars here, like the Cruze and export them. Ford and GM between them have 100’s of factories world wide and both are rationalizing their model range to global cars. We need to deal Australia back in, only Governments can do this, its a huge investment and requires a dedication for decades by both parties.

        • matt

          agree with everything, just amending the Billion sales figure for mazda, lol you ment million right?

          • JoeR_AUS

            yes Million, thanks

      • sng

        But it’s 2013 not 2007. The market changed at least 5 years ago and Holden has the 5+ years you say it takes to make a new car.

        Yet Holden have just released their new car for 2013 and it’s the same philosophy as it was in 2007 –

        So they have gone through the 5+ year stage and haven’t changed a thing. They’re the “nieve” ones.

        • Richo

          Well to follow that logic, that they’ve had 5 years so where is the new car, that would mean that the decision to develop an all new car would have had to have been made pretty much straight away after the launch of VE, which would have been odd given that initial VE sales where very good!

          the market changes you allude to didn’t really start to hurt Holden badly until 2010 at least, so a decision wouldn’t have been made before then, then it also takes time to make that decision, yes they needed to do something, but what? That requires research, market testing, planning, etc etc, then a business case needs to be develop, go through approval, etc etc. Lets say this took Holden just 1 year, although it almost certainly would have taken longer, that makes it 2011 when they made the final decision to develop an all new car, THAT is when the 5 years of development starts, which makes for a 2016 launch, which is exactly when Holden DOES plan to launch some all new models….

          • sng

            Pffff 2010. Commodore sales have been in a general decline since 1999 and every year since then, the general market has increased, the proportion of small cars have increased, the proportion of 4WDs has increased, the proportion of dual cab 4WD utes has increased, the proportion of small Luxury cars has increased.

            The other brands have worked out the market (except Ford). Who else is selling big cheap sedans with big petrol engines? Most brands had a car like that, but ditched them in the 90s.

          • F1orce

            Yet most companies are selling big SUVs with gas guzzling engines.

          • snh

            What do you mean “Yet”? I said “the proportion of 4WDs” has increased” when talking about the market trends and of course Holden does not have a big SUV on the market do they? Another area lost by Holden.

          • Richo

            You mean the Colorado 7 and Captiva are not SUV’s? Am I missing something??

          • $29896495

            Actually the market changed over ten years ago. Around 200 in you look at world trends and Australian.Both Holden and Ford made the call to push theirs cars up not only here but world wide and in every country people are walking away from big cars. they made the wrong call. Because it’s the American way.

        • Richo

          Also i’m not sure its fair to say that they have changed nothing… the original base model VE has fuel economy of 10.9L/100km, the new base model VF has economy of 8.3L/100km, which is a fairly substantial improvement….

          • Neo

            I have driven a VF and it’s no where near 8.3

          • Karl Sass

            The flaws in the ADR testing applies to every car, it’s a static test.

          • Shak

            Yeah and it wont be for few months. The cars on lots now are fresh from the factory and none of their engines would be run in.

          • $29896495

            It’s size and versatility which the Commodore looses on. To big for a sedan these days and definitely not perceived as versatile.

          • Richo

            I would say this is perception more then reality. My VE commodore is easier to park then my Mitsubishi Outlander, which being a medium sized SUV is considered a “family car alternative” to a large sedan. And the Commodore is definitely a more versatile car then the outlander for a family with teenagers in terms of seating room. In terms of luggage space, yeah I can fit more in the Outlander, so thats a win for the SUV’s, but then, you could buy the sportswagon couldn’t you?

          • $29896495

            Yeah true, but as you can see by some peoples comments on here, perception has no basis in fact. the other is the so called small and medium cars which are within a cigarette paper of the commodore and Falcon, yet simply because of a word, peoples perceptions – even if you show them the measurements – are skewed.

        • JoeR_AUS

          collateral damage, GM was busy saving it self after the GFC and we are lucky Holden was not closed but you are right times move on and we should all look forward,

    • matt

      I say abolish the greed trade agreement all together, 😉 they buy LOTS of coal off us, it will hurt Thailand a lot more.

    • Robert Ryan

      The “Free Trade” agreement and the “Asian Century” belong in Walts Kingdom..Fantasyland.

  • Rocket

    So Labor has been in Government for the last 6 years and are now blaming everyone else for the problems. They introduced the carbon tax, allowed the unions to run the car companies, decreased import tariffs and then buy imported cars for their fleets when locally made cars are available.

    The Government is now 300 billion dollars in debt and now we learn they need to give these foreign owned companies more handouts. I want manufacturing in Australia like the next person but people will have to pay more for new cars for the privilege. If these were Australian owned companies I could justify some subsidies but not billions for foreign owned companies.

    • JoeR_AUS

      This is about Australia, so even if US and Japanese own the companies the ore is mined here, the steel is made here, the part suppliers are here, the foreign owned companies are only at the retail level. They can only take profits off shore but not all the activity and wealth it generates stays on shore.

      The 300B debt is a concern regardless of how we want to generate growth, so was the 50B spend on the GFC ….

      FYI: the NLP introduced the free trade agreement with Thailand in 2004, now we need to revise it on the car front.

      • Dr Sheldon Cooper

        Anything we do to KEEP holden and Toyota is just DELAYING THE INEVITABLE. They WILL go sooner or later. High production (salary) cost is just a FACT in Australia.

        FIND a solution NOW before the EVENTUAL departure of Toyota, Holden and all the OTHER MANUF jobs.

    • hafh

      Unions don’t run the car companies and they were doing what they actually do long before Labors 2007 appointment. In fact the unions were there all throughout the HOWARD years!
      Import tariffs were reduced by HOWARD during the HOWARD years.
      The State Governments run by the LIBERAL party (NSW, QLD, VIC) are the worst offenders when it comes to buying imported cars for the public fleet. Federal Labor actually has the highest proportion of local cars.
      Carbon Tax has nothing to do with any of the issues here.

      • dr sheldon cooper

        Local govt buying Aust cars is NOT the solution. Even if all 22 M Australians buying nothing but Aust made cars, the local car industry STILL will fold. WHY? Bec HIGH LABOR COSTS cut into profit of the US owned companies. So, the more they sell, the more they LOSE money. STOP mentioning political parties. This is way BIGGER than that,

    • gtrxuone

      Your right Rocket the carbon tax was a disaster for a country already struggling with cost issues.But Juliar paid the price for that last week.The foreign debt is a consern,7 billion this year on so called assaylem seekers is just unbelievable.
      But I have to agree with Senator Carr.Any investment made to Holden and Toyota is returned 10 fold.As Shak said above it might be allmost impossible to start an All Australian made car and owned mass produced.Unless someone trys lower volume higher spec cars like Ferrari.

      • Dr sheldon cooper

        They are gonna turn these economic refugees (asylum seekers) into criminals. Why? They give them a fraction of Newstart (which is little), THEN PREVENT them from working and THROW them in Australian communities where people live COMFORTABLY. These people have NOTHING to do ALL DAY but watch their neighbours go to WORK and PROVIDE for their families. An idle mind is the devils PLAYGROUND, add into the mix that they all come from VIOLENCE (hence, they are seeking asylum status)…..and you have a PERFECT STORM of NEW, IMPORTED, VIOLENT CRIMINALS let loose on our communities where our children and wives are ALONE all day while we work. THANKS, Labour!!!! You EXPORTED our jobs and IMPORTED Baghdad, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia in to OUR BACKYARDS!!!

        • jtej

          What on earth are you on about? You are the one with the idle mind here and whats with the constant and random use of capitals?
          Your wife and children might be alone all day, everyone elses wife goes to work and our children go to school so they don’t become mad like you.

          Jobs exported? Average unemployment during the Howard years was %6.4, under Rudd/Gillard it’s been 5%.

          • Dr Sheldon Cooper

            The wife runs out businesses from home (ooops i forgot to CAPITALISE)…and Homeschools our young future Nobel Prize winner for physics (just like his MAD scientist dad).

            If YOU are HAPPY with the current unemployment figures, good on YA. But i suspect the thousands of laid off and soon to be laid off workers of Ford, Royota, Holden, target, ANZ, AMCOR, Telstra, Auspost, etc are NOT as happy AS YOU, whether Gillard, Rudd, Howard or Spiderman is Prime Minister.

          • $29896495

            Look Howard came up the dodgy bookkeeping method for employment numbers to make himself look good. It’s just carried forward. From my understanding having tried hiring people, that once they go on work for the dole they come off the official unemployed figure. They are just as unemployed, but not counted. Then they get foisted on small business like myself and drain our resources until it becomes apparent that they have no intention of producing. it would be cheaper to leave some unemployables on the dole and save business time and money.

          • dr sheldon cooper

            Thanks for the ‘info’. I am NOT privy to these dealings. What I can opine on is just what i CAN see: UNCONTROLLED flood of boat-people who are NOT legitimate war refugees, 1000s of Aussie jobs offshored, and NO plan whatsoever by this govt. Labour is reactionary, NOT proactive.

          • $29896495

            Unfortunately that too is a Howard legacy. One election he made the unemployed the people to be feared, then came the pensioners, then the boat people. There is a lot of misinformation going around about them being beat up by the press. Once labour got in their plan was diluted by the greens and independents resulting in something which is only average effective. Rud can hopefully pull something together but it must be remembered that he is left with Gillards debacle of backhand agreements. The boats DID NOT stop under liberals they just parked them offshore in detention camps they paid island governments MILLIONS of dollars to rent. They like to forget to mention that.

            The bottom line is that neither government has come up with a plan that will stop them. Short of blowing them up off shore and shooting the survivors. The real issue is the refugees they are letting in legally. They have literally taken over some suburbs, such as Blacktown. Immigration needs to be slowed down, the country can’t support these people and the problems they bring. Some, in fact many, of the issues you mention are from these legal refugees. Without mentioning names the ones that would machete their neighbour soon as look at them.

          • dr sheldon cooper

            EXACTLY!!! Boat people should be considered FOREIGN INVASION. It DISRESPECTS a nation’s borders, its laws, and RIGHT TO CHOOSE who to allow in and who to reject. The bleeding heart liberals have DESTROYED America and Europe, Australians better GUARD your peaceful and wonderful lifestyle.These people are INVADERS. If they CAN AFFORD to pay people smugglers MORE THAN A PLANE FARE,…….they are NOT STRUGGLING. Stop listening to new age hippies. They are IDIOTS. They dont work and have NOTHING TO LOSE if the nation is destroyed.

          • Poison_Eagle

            What an archaic viewpoint, Not only is that a collection of quotes from other sources, its sensationalised to within an inch of its life. If your purpose was to defend Liberal, why did they block the 457 reforms last week of parliament, that are designed to protect the jobs of Australian citizens?
            So their business mates (Gina etc) can just let them in through the front door, and tighten their bottom line at the expense of employing an Aussie.
            Boat problem needs to be stopped, but Coalition is manipulating the issue as a job security one, when it should be an ethical one,.
            Rudd only dismantled Pacific Solution to distance himself from Howard’s children overboard fiasco. Grow up, and stop spreading simplistic rubbish.

          • Just warning you

            AGAIN, for the Nth time, Penny, i am NOT defending any particular party. i am NOT pro Coalition or ALP. I am pro AUSTRALIA. If i want to hear myself repeating things, i’d get a parrot. Be that as it may, i submit you are correct – the issue IS SIMPLE:

            Would YOU let ANYONE who wants to LIVE in your house DO SO without YOU having a say?

            would you let ANYONE who knocks on your home’s door in the middle of the night – KNOWING they have been to OTHER SAFE homes (Indonesia, Malaysia, etc) but just somehow choose YOUR home (Aust) bec it is MUCH NICER?

            With a FIXED FAMILY BUDGET, would you purposely deny your kids and partner food, clothing, vacation, etc to ACCOMMODATE 5-7 more mouths to feed?

            Will you let STRANGERS sleep in your daughters’ rooms?

            The door is your borders, the house is your country, ..your daughters room are college dorms where the govt is releasing illegals……you get the picture (i hope).

            Gillard was ousted NOTbec she was female, NOT bec Tony Is better, not bec she was NOT good but BECAUSE Australians were UNHAPPY with losing ownership of their country.

            America was the richest nation after WWII, after relaxing immig in the 60s and losing PHYSICAL control of their borders, they have now LOST POLITICAL control. If you dont SCREEN your invaders, they will machete Aussies in the streets like they did in London.

          • Poison_Eagle

            Sounds like Red Peril propaganda from the 50’s. You just saw opposition and categorised me as supporting illegal immigration ‘bleeding heart hippie’ or something. You are just making a fool of yourself with vague, hysterical waffle.
            I am against illegal immigration aswell as exploitation of 457 visa laws by employers.

          • Sheldon

            I apologise if i i jured your feelings. I am glad you are AGAINST illegal migration. And 457 abuse as most of us are. Now, let us hear you debunk those unflattering labels…and give you thiss OPPORTUNITY to PROVE all my statements wrong. I have enumerated the ills of UNCONTROLLED border security. Now educate us about PROS of letting ANYONE who wishes to come in. We want to hear OBJECTIVE reasons, NOT just EMOTIONAL protestations about being LABELED. i IMPLORE you, please PROVE me wrong.

            We are waiting.

          • Poison_Eagle

            ” We?” Don’t flatter yourelf. This reply is so riddled with contraditions. you say ‘im glad you’re against illegal migration’ then invite me to educate abt the ‘Pros of letting anyone in’. dafuq?
            Not my view at all, I am just sick of hearing the ‘well stop the boats’ bs- they haven’t explained how, its empty rhetoric at this point and everyone is drinking the cool-aid. They’re happy to introduce policies that exploit foreign labor and make them more attractive to employ than citizens, so I find it a bit twee of them to use ‘well stop the boats’ as a platform.’
            And yes I know Labor’s efforts here have been pretty weak, they should have left it untouched.

          • sheldon

            Ok, so you ARE similarly frustrated at the govt’s INABILITY to control illegal migration, AND agree that Labor’s CURRENT POLICY (similar to America’s “catch, document, and release” in to communities) is WEAK. I totally concur with you then.

            So, I dont understand WHAT PART of my statement you do NOT agree with? You got me all confused now.

          • sheldon

            457 – govt backed this policy because BUSINESSES wanted CHEAP, non-UNION protected, non-Aust constitution covered labor, and businesses FUND politicians’ careers, so there you go. We should never assume that govts are there FOR THE PEOPLE. Now, THAT is simplistic and plain RHETORICAL.

            Politicians are there for THEMSELVES. They themselves are people who work for $$$$, want to KEEP their jobs, impress their BENEFACTORS (bosses) – like you and I. They make policies FOR the HIGHEST BIDDER. WHO is that? – multi-billion dollar BUSINESSES who donate more $$$$$ than the lowly factory worker to campaign coffers.

            So, guess WHO will politicians (regardless of party) SUPPORT at the end of the day?The minimum wage Aussie worker? Or BIG BUSINESS who need cheap, foreign labor?


          • sheldon

            “boat people” as platform – Kevin Rudd is NOT stupid, so is Abbott. This is WHY one fo the first items of Rudd was FIXING the boat people issue. He KNOWS this is the BIGGEST thing that sunk Gillard’s “boat”. Aussies will NOT openly talk about ‘this issue” (asylum seekers) as liberals (not the party) have made this topic unPC. But SURVEYS bear out the full sentiment….of the QUIET majority.

          • Dr Sheldon COOPER

            About Red Peril propaganda, Mr POISON Eagle (good name, btw) are you saying the Russians were UNJUSTLY VILLIFIED? That the Berlin wall should NOT have been torn down? That the East germans DESERVED to be CONTROLLED by the USSR? That Glasnost was a BAD IDEA? That Communism was GREAT for USSRs Economy? That the world should NOT have been sscared ofthe COMMUNISTS? That the spectre of a NUCLEAR WORLD WAR was not real with the USSR?

            Now, we would REALLY LOVE to hear from YOUR MIND. Please EDUCATE us. Seriously.

          • Poison_Eagle

            Of course not, but ‘Red Peril’ was devised to manipulate the US voters, US’s intervention in any of those things is seldom for altruistic reasons.
            As for nuclear war with USSR, well considering how Reagan almost caused full scale nuclear war with Russia in the 1980’s, I think ‘Red Peril’ was more about controlling the people and less about elminating communism.
            Additionally, Americas economy and others thrives from China being a communist nation, because the criminally low wages make them an attractive trading partner.
            If we’re going to venture into the realm of social inequity in the world, there’s bigger fish to fry than communism i.e. banks, but thats another story.

          • sheldon

            So, you agree that COMMUNISM, and WARNING AGAINST communism was appropriate. I agree with what you say about China, greedy banks, America taking advantage of communism. We still want to hear why you think the govt’s approach (whether Liberal, Gillard, Rudd, Labor…) is CORRECT. I say it is WRONG, smacks of SRREUNDERING the nation’s RIGHT to protect its borders, HARMFUL to its citizens, and a THREAT to its CULTURE and SECURITY. Tell me I am wrong. Maybe I am not just seeing a BETTER PICTURE. Thank you.

          • $29896495

            This is getting out of hand. Gillard was bumped because people didn’t like her primarily the way she took the job and then the way she kept it with out consideration for what others wanted.

          • Dr Sheldon Cooper

            It TOOK three yrs for people to REALISE the WAY she took the job? I would give Aussies MORE CREDIT than that. Even Penny knows what Gillard did was perfectly WITHIN rules of the Parliamentary system – the BEST in the world.

          • $29896495

            As a matter of fact it didn’t. It was a clutch of labor internals who were keeping her there. The public of Australia as seen by the last vote weren’t convinced and would rather have seen Rudd. But they had no say and the majority in the Labor party were towing the line pushed by Gillard cronies.

          • dr sheldon cooper

            On the contrary. Polls in the past 3 yrs CONSISTENTLY showed people PREFERRED Gillard over Abbott, Labor over ALP, and there was NO mention of Rudd. Sure, it seemed like a KNIFING but it is PERFECTLY LEGAL in this form of govt.

            The ONLY reason Rudd is back is because – like Shorten rightfully REALISED – Labor is about to get SLAUGHTERED by the Coalition, hands down. People gave Labor (Rudd/Julia) three years to FIX things but it had become OBVIOUS that they had NO WORKABLE PLAN with regards to boat people, off-shoring of jobs, carbon tax, mining tax, selling of prime farming and real estate to China, etc….Australia was slowly slipping away from the Australians.

            Rudd is ONLY back bec Julia FAILED on the booat people issue, etc…. He is also back bec people prefer Rudd OVER Abbott and Labor does not want to lose the Parliament. WITHOUT Rudd, Labor is toast. People do not like Labor policies but SIMPLY HATE Abbott MORE. It is now PERSONALITY driven, sadly.

            Rudd is NOT annnoucing election date UNTIL he has ssome success with the asylum seeker DEBACLE. Who knows how long he will take. If he DOES NOT fix it soon enough, he will be gone too. Australians are tired of WEAK border policy!!!!

          • dr sheldon cooper

            If ALP suddenly puts a new leader in place Abbott, Labor is gone. Or if Rudd does NOT STOP the boats.

            So, the onus is for Rudd to stop the boats BEFORE ALP puts a person NOT NAMED ABBOTT as leader.

          • $29896495

            Seriously boat people is a small issue. Real concern should be focussed else where. Abbott has been working a fear campaign on everything since the Libs made him titular head. The real truth is our economy is in very good shape still. That’s mainly because of the action Rudd took prior to the last election whether you agree with it or not, it worked). A lot of good was done but also some pretty meaningless things, thanks to the greens and independents being paid off.

            As for poles you must have been in a different country, Gillard and Abbott are both consistent bad scorers and with the chance to get Gillard out coming up her numbers really went in the toilet. Issue for Rudd is can he show Abbott for what he is? Once that is achieved, people will think long and hard about a liberal election and be more rational – which they steadily lost with Gillard. They didn’t like how she took control and how she kept control. Every time she said she was going to stay no matter what the numbers went down. The thing that labor need to do is not worry so much about boats but health education and what infrastructure that wasn’t sold off by the Liberals.

            If the Libs get back in they will complete the job of taking away social benefits and and turn us into a second rate America. No health care, and no future.

    • $29896495

      We only had a surplus because the Libs sold everything that wasn’t nailed down. Labour got us through the GFC. You may not like how they did it but they did. The other thing is on TV economists are saying our economy is actually in good shape. That’s without lib scare tactics.

      • JoeR_AUS

        Quite the politics, spending 50 billion either party could achieve that.

        The economy is in good shape maybe for you but come to the IT industry where we sell services via off shore staff and local people are made redundant and as there partner work full time you are not eligible for social welfare and you will not be on the unemployed list. FYI average Manila IT salary is US $8K a year.

        The average CPI for IT worker (non sales) is 0.9% over the last 13 years! This means you are going back wards to the tune of 30% in total and to make things worst the job vacancies are the lowest by a factor of 10 to most other industries in Australia (ABS Figures).

        TV economists have a job regardless of who is in government and how bad the economy is going and chances are they are only talking to other journalists and public servants.

        • $29896495

          Go tell the economists not me. My business is IT and Communications and we get paid VERY well. Sounds like you are at the wrong end or working for the wrong employer. I suggest you switch.

          • JoeR_AUS

            wait till we bid for your business and we take it off shore…

          • $29896495

            You can NEVER do what I do offshore. So good luck with that.

          • guest

            Well, we can bring in some people from overseas to do it cheaper, seeing that you are paid so well. I’m sure someone from overseas will very happily do the same job for less.

            That’s called efficiency improvements. And that’s what the majority of Australian voters seem to want, and also what the majority of opinion writers are advocating for.

            Which I guess is fine until it affects them.

          • $29896495

            You make a good point but it has been tried. Fortunately for me I deal with a level of business (for the most part) which is Aussie centric. I provide honest trust worthy service. they don’t feel they get that from non Australians.

        • Dr Sheldon Cooper

          Wasnt Bill Shorten supposed to be working for the Australian worker? And he ALLOWED this off shoring to happen? And NOW, he is BACK as a minister in Rudds team? The Aussie worker is screwed – and NOT the FUN kind.

          • wgh

            Yea and he’s kept unemployment at 5%, John Howard, supposedly the man, only kept it at a average 6.4% and he didn’t have a GFC.

          • Dr Sheldon Cooper

            I am NOT championing a particular party. But today, the govt is GIVING pension to hundreds of NEW asylum seekers DAILY who NEVER put in $$$$$. Meanwhile, AUSSIE pensioners are struggling. Is that fair?

          • hfgh

            Asylum seekers don’t get a pension. What on earth are you on about?
            Actual pensioners on the maximum pension have had increases of $148 per fortnight for singles and $146 per fortnight for couples compared to the Pension under John Howard & the Liberal party. The max pension rate is now $808.40 a fortnight for singles, and $1,218.80 a fortnight for coupes. How on earth could you struggle on that much money?

            Also why are you spouting a “Dr” tag? Did you write a Thesis with words randomly put in capitals combined with random assertions that have nothing to do with the topic at hand and not backed up by any evidence?

          • Dr Sheldon Cooper

            CORRECT! Correct Aussie pensioners CAN NOT live on $808. I have bad news for you, the ones RELEASED into communities GET 70% of Newstart but NOT ALLOWED to work (an therefore NOT pay taxes).

            I use CAPS to call attn to HIGHLIGHT things. Not to shout. No, i did not use caps in my theses (thats plural). And yes i am a doctor (MD)…and not PhD likr my pseudonym.

          • $29896495

            Where do you come up with those numbers? So you think it’s wrong that people on a pension should be able to pay rent average in a flat 300, buy some food 50 and have some over for bills? What about Power Water a Car? Where does the rest of life come from? By the way, my coupe doesn’t get paid 1218.80 I have to put petrol in the tank out of my own pocket.

          • dghj

            Go do some research for once in your life huwtm, that is the standard max Pension rate. If you’re going to complain about the pension rate, at least actually know what the rate is. It’s a figure which is freely found on the internet – though bogus IT specialists might find it hard to use a search engine.

            Why would pensioners be paying rent at their age? If you’ve got to pension age and still don’t own a home there’s something wrong. Who would be dumb enough to retire without even having saved enough money to buy a house?
            Don’t blame the Government for individuals who are incompetent at managing their money.

          • $29896495

            You know, there are a lot of people who don’t own a house for whatever reason. You don’t sound old enough to wipe you own backside let alone understand that not everyone has the same chance in life or lives a where things are handed to them, (you I suspect) There will always be people at either end of the spectrum and until you understand that you should have restraint in your opinions. They are clearly uninformed and quite heartless to be frank. So what I didn’t know the rate, knowing it and living in this country just brings home how little it is. If you’re life thanks to a perfect upbringing and generous parents is set in stone good for you. There are still many in this country who don’t have that chance. God forbid you end up in trouble some day and need help. I sure hope you never ask for any. You might lose your job because of illness or drink driving or a gaol sentence for wife bashing or have to leave work because of cancer and suddenly your house has to go just so you can stay alive. Or your kid does. So if you get through without a trouble in the world you’ll be laughing. But if something does happen, make sure you DON’T under any circumstances ask for assistance. Go live on a park bench before you rent a house.

          • sheldon


          • DR cooper to you

            I agree with huwtm. And NOT all HOMELESS indivs are incompetent. Some are just too KIND-HEARTED who got duped by investors, RELA-thieves (you like that, huh?), common criminals, etc….. I know someone who sheltered her own son-in-law bec he could not support his own growing family. The woman was a lone bread-winner. aging at the time. She helped her daughter’s family- paying off credit cards, buying them cars, looked after their kids so her daughter and son-in-law can work, paying for their house down payment,….etc. When she sold HER house so she can buy a new house, the son-in-law USED the money, built a new house, and made the old woman RENT his old house. She is now homeless. Was she INCOMPETENT? Are you going to BLAME her?

          • Dr Sheldon Cooper

            Hfgh, Mr, i assume? I hate to disappoint you but an internet forum is NOT the same as a THESIS. So, i fail to see the logic of your comparison. Also you might want to do some RESEARCH (thats GOOGLE, for you NON- doctors and Those who THINK forum posting is a veritable THESIS). You might find (depending on your internet connectivity to GOOGLE) that the govt (i care NOT whether it is Labour, ALP, Republican, Democratic or Kling On) IS indeed giving Newstart to ECONOMic REFUGEES (lets be HONEST. They could NOT be struggling if they can affod to pay people smugglers $1500 PER FAMILY MEMBER).

          • $29896495

            Some of them pay way more than 1500. Have a pretty big nest egg when they get here too and get gov assistance. This particular issue is in the forefront in Canada and other countries who take a lot more people than we do.

          • Dr Sheldon Cooper

            EXACTLY! Let THEM be stupid! France, UK, Spain, Portugal, Netherlands are in effect PAYING their INVADERS to OCCUPY and subjugate them. And now, they are BROKE and have have VIOLENT societies. Is THAT what you Aussies WANNT?

          • $29896495

            Look some of your other comments are skew if, but that does hold water. They say and probably rightly that we get the least number here. But the issue is is it cheaper to just fly them back where they came from with an application form, or look after them. Whatever the choice home grown in all circumstances MUST come first.

          • Sheldon

            CORRECT!!! Even CHEAPER if you tow the boats and NOT reward each with $3000 only for thrm to return several times, or release them into college DORMS where they can rape our aussie students.

          • JoeR_AUS

            Buy all the boats so they cannot even leave, that would be cheaper and then nobody would need to drown.

          • Dr Sheldon Cooper

            They will just build MORE BOATS. The solution is: ANY BOAT coming from Indonesia or Malaysia should NOT be approved. WHY? Most boat people are from Muslim countries (ie, Afgha, Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, yemen, etc…). If they already made it to Indonesia or Malaysia, they ALREADY ARE safe (from WAR and RELIGIOUS PERSECUTION) as these countries are Muslim and NOT violent as where they are coming from. WHY go to Australia where the lifestyle is what THESE BOAT PEOPLE consider hedonistic, “unholy” and OFFENSIVE to Muslims? These asylum seekers will NOT BE COMFORTABLE or at ease here. They will be minority in Aust and ostracised by Western society. So, BE KIND TO ASYLUM SEEKERS and keep them in Indonesia and other Muslim countries without WAR and RELIGIOUS PERSECUTION.

  • $29896495

    Before I read below That woman is complaining that Labour aren’t or didn’t give enough money but she is going to cut that money by 500 million. Come on you can’t have it both ways.

    • Shak

      Thats the Liberals way of doing things. They’ve had it so easy under Gillard for the past few years because they didnt have to come up with actual policy because they knew they’d win. Now that Ruddy is back they know Labour has a fighting chance, and their current media blitz for all their supposed policies is exposing their lack of knowledge and actual governing ability.

  • Dave W

    If you want to preserve the automotive industry in this country, tell Holden to make something else other than the Cruze and that money sinkhole Commodore.

    • Dr Sheldon Cooper

      You CANT. Detroit Calls the shots and will NOT make small cars in Aust with HIGH LABOR costs when it is CHEAPER to bring in small cars from Thailand.

      UNTIL aust LIBERATES itself from America, it will always be Detriot’s (rhymes with witch).

      • $29896495

        Seriously labour costs are relative to cost of living in every country. Lots of other countries survive with comparable to cost of living labour costs. We did here for 60 years or more.

        You are partly right, we do need to get ourselves away from dependence on US brands or brand. Once upon a time we had British German US Japan All building a full range of cars here. Once the manufacturers convinced the government to reduce tariffs etc, the number of models built here started to dwindle. No each manufacturer is building virtually 1 main model not counting the Cruze and it’s questionable origins.

        You name it, it was built here. No tariffs means no reason to assemble cars, means no car industry, unless we build our own car, and go through the hard times in getting the brand up and running. Which frankly, I feel we should. Saying it’s to hard is a worker mentality. We need to stick our hands in and get them dirty and do the work and build Aus Motors.

        • Dr Sheldon Cooper

          EXACTLY! Everyone out sources to CHEAPER labor sources: the Americans go to Mexico, Thailand, China, etc… Japan goes to other Asian countries and Eastern Europe. When Asian labor goes UP, companies will move to AFRICA. Thats just how BUSINESS people think. Near-slavery is considered OK.

          So, it is still a WONDER why toyota and GM are in Aust. I am NOT FAULTIG Aust labor. I am HAPPY Aussies get paid WELL. But we can NOT EXPECT Toyota and GM to keep bleeding money for Aust. If Aust wants its OWN ca industry, with no foreigner DICTATING it NOT to export (so BETTER quality Commodores and Falcons do NOT COMPETE against US cars)…..or what models it can NOT HAVE (ir Camaro, Corvette, ..), it MUST DEVELOP its OWN car brand.