Despite the Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, asking us to buy local, it has been revealed this morning that more than 25 per cent of the Australian Government car fleet is foreign made.
Government rules state clearly that a foreign car can only be purchased if there is a “compelling need” that cannot be met by an Australian manufacturer, but still 2089 cars in the government fleet of approximately 8000 are produced off-shore.
This figure does consist of some 1700 foreign-made Holdens, Fords and Toyotas – carmakers that have manufacturing plants in Australia – but it would seem public servants still prefer to purchase imported vehicles with popular models including Chrysler, Honda, Mazda and Volkswagen.
Opposition Special Minister of State, Michael Ronaldson, said the issue was “a bitter slap in the face for Australian workers and manufacturing”.
“I wonder how the Ford workers in Geelong feel, knowing that fat-cats in Canberra have snubbed them for a foreign-made luxury vehicle,” said Mr Ronaldson.
The Victorian senator said he didn’t see the need to purchase foreign built cars claiming Australian-made cars were both affordable and of high quality.
Interestingly, and perhaps highlighting environmental concerns, the majority of those cars that were foreign made are small-engine vehicles that are not made in Australia.
Senator Ronaldson said regardless of this fact the Government should step in and order bureaucrats to obey official rules.
What do you think? Should the Government fleet contain only locally produced vehicles?