Budget 2014 : Automotive Transformation Scheme cuts will hurt workers, say politicians, industry
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Budget 2014 : Automotive Transformation Scheme cuts will hurt workers, say politicians, industry

The Federal Government’s decision to cut hundreds of millions of dollars from the Automotive Transformation Scheme in its 2014 Budget has been criticised by politicians and local industry heavyweights. Treasurer Joe Hockey last night revealed the government would save $618.5 million over eight years by ending the ATS at the end of 2017, after Ford, Holden and Toyota have all ended local production...


Fuel excise increase to force up petrol prices - report
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Fuel excise increase to force up petrol prices - report

The Federal Government is reportedly set to increase the fuel excise for the first time in more than a decade, forcing millions of Australian motorists to pay more for petrol. ABC News reports next Tuesday’s Budget will include a change to the indexation of the fuel excise, which has stood still at 38.1 cents per litre since the Howard Government introduced the GST in 2001...


Federal Government expands automotive industry assistance fund to $155m
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Federal Government expands automotive industry assistance fund to $155m

The Federal Government has announced an expansion of the growth fund designed to create new jobs for Victorian and South Australian workers displaced by the dissolution of Australia’s automotive manufacturing industry. The fund, which was initially capped at $100 million when announced in December as part of the government’s National Industry Investment and Competitiveness Agenda, has been expanded to $155m...


US state takes extreme measures to combat work-zone speeding
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US state takes extreme measures to combat work-zone speeding

A wolf whistle will be the furthest thing from the minds of residents in the US state of Missouri as they pass through a work zone in future. The state has determined that the threat of hefty fines hasn't been enough to slow motorists down to the desired work zone speed. Now, they have a new weapon at their disposal, one that was designed for use in war zones and to break up violent protests and street demonstrations...


Northern Territory Government to extend open speed limit trial
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Northern Territory Government to extend open speed limit trial

A 12-month trial returning open speed limits to a 200km stretch of the Stuart Highway looks set to be extended only two months in, following comments by the Northern Territory's transport minister. Speaking on ABC radio, Peter Styles said he believes the trial – announced in October last year – has so far been a success, with people generally being responsible and driving to the conditions, and that the government is already preparing to extend it...


Japanese car makers weighing up how to pass on free-trade agreement benefits
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Japanese car makers weighing up how to pass on free-trade agreement benefits

Australia’s leading Japanese car importers insist it’s too early to say exactly how the benefits of the countries’ newly announced free-trade agreement will be passed on to consumers. Included in the Japan Australia Economic Partnership Agreement (JAEPA) reached overnight by prime ministers Tony Abbott and Shinzo Abe is the removal of the five per cent import tariff on new Japanese vehicles...


Abbott "optimistic" on Australia-Japan FTA to remove vehicle tariffs
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Abbott "optimistic" on Australia-Japan FTA to remove vehicle tariffs

Prime Minster Tony Abbott is hopeful of finalising an historic free-trade agreement with Japan today that could improve the value of more than 350,000 Japanese vehicles sold in Australia every year. Reaching the end of a week-long delegation in Japan, Abbott last night told ABC News the negotiation process had been “difficult”, but said he was “optimistic” of reaching an agreement...


Tesla, car makers' alliance pushing to legalise side cameras
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Tesla, car makers' alliance pushing to legalise side cameras

On the same day as US safety regulators set a 2018 deadline for the standard implementation of reverse-view cameras in new vehicles, Tesla Motors and the US automotive industry’s key lobby group filed a petition pushing for the right to replace external mirrors with side-mounted cameras...


Paris pollution-based car restrictions end; 3859 drivers fined
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Paris pollution-based car restrictions end; 3859 drivers fined

Car restrictions resulting from dangerously high pollution levels in Paris have ceased, with levels dropping back below safe limits. During the ban, which permitted only those with odd-numbered registration plates to use the roads from 5:30am Monday until midnight the same day, a reported total of 3859 motorists were fined 22 euro ($34) for driving when disallowed...


Prime Minister snubs Productivity Commission's pay-per-kilometre road tax proposal
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Prime Minister snubs Productivity Commission's pay-per-kilometre road tax proposal

Prime Minister Tony Abbott says his government will not support a proposal by the Productivity Commission that encourages a rethink of the way motorists are taxed. The commission’s investigation into infrastructure funding identifies fuel excise as a source of revenue that requires an overhaul, and is pushing for state and territory governments to trial a system that taxes drivers for the kilometres they travel rather than the fuel they use...


Productivity Commission encourages government to end financial support of Australian automotive industry
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Productivity Commission encourages government to end financial support of Australian automotive industry

The Productivity Commission has encouraged the Federal Government to stop providing financial support to the Australian automotive industry. The Commission's intermediary position paper, released two months ahead of the final report due on March 31, contends “the policy rationales for specific assistance to automotive manufacturing are weak”, and insists “the community would benefit from the ending of assistance to automotive manufacturing”...


Scrap used vehicle import restrictions, urges Productivity Commission
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Scrap used vehicle import restrictions, urges Productivity Commission

The Productivity Commission has encouraged the Federal Government to remove barriers preventing the importation of used cars, claiming it will benefit consumers by increasing choice and lowering vehicle prices...


Secret remote vehicle stopping technology to end high-speed chases
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Secret remote vehicle stopping technology to end high-speed chases

A secret European Union project that would allow police to remotely turn off vehicle engines could make dangerous high-speed chases and road spikes a thing of the past. The UK's Telegraph newspaper reports a committee of senior EU police officers has devised a strategy dubbed 'Remote Stopping Vehicles' designed to give them the power to halt any vehicle in the name of public safety...


Holden exit "won't crash" South Australian economy, says Deloitte
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Holden exit "won't crash" South Australian economy, says Deloitte

The planned closure of Holden's manufacturing operations in 2017 will slow but "won't crash" South Australia's economy, according to a new economic report. Despite the local car maker's impending exit, Deloitte Access Economics' quarterly Business Outlook report predicts continued annual economic growth in the state of around one per cent for the next four years – about half that of the rest of the country...


Macfarlane to Toyota Australia workers: "very high chance" of closure without reforms
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Macfarlane to Toyota Australia workers: "very high chance" of closure without reforms

Federal Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane believes there's a "very high chance" Toyota will stop building cars in Australia if its employees do not accept revised workplace agreements. Macfarlane told ABC News today talks between the federal and Victorian governments in Melbourne this week had not delivered a plan to save the Altona-based car maker and the state’s automotive parts suppliers, but said the two agreed changes to “archaic” workplace arrangements were vital...


Industry minister dismisses SA premier's post-Holden plan as pre-election stunt
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Industry minister dismisses SA premier's post-Holden plan as pre-election stunt

Federal Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane has dismissed South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill's post-Holden plan for the state as a pre-election stunt with no substance. Weatherill yesterday announced his rescue plan for workers displaced by Holden's decision to cease production by the end of 2017, proposing 14 initiatives targeted at re-skilling and re-employing workers and supporting the diversification of industries and employment opportunities in South Australia...


South Australia reveals post-Holden job plan
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South Australia reveals post-Holden job plan

South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill has announced his rescue plan for workers displaced by Holden's decision to cease production by the end of 2017. Dubbed 'Our Jobs Plan', the proposal includes a four-year, $60 million state government commitment to 14 initiatives designed to prepare South Australia for Holden’s manufacturing exit, and asks for an additional $330 million commitment from the Federal Government...


NSW Senator proposes motorist-set speed limits, 140km/h freeways
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NSW Senator proposes motorist-set speed limits, 140km/h freeways

Liberal Democratic Party Senator David Leyonhjelm has proposed road rule changes that would replace existing speed limits with those set by motorists. A NSW senator, and former chairman of the NSW Shooters Party, Leyonhjelm is proposing all Australian states adopt an 85th percentile method of setting speed limits, meaning motorists, not "anonymous unelected bureaucrats", would set limits...


Prime Minister announces $100m fund for displaced Holden workers
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Prime Minister announces $100m fund for displaced Holden workers

Prime Minister Tony Abbott has announced a $100 million fund to help displaced automotive manufacturing industry workers find new jobs in South Australia and Victoria following Holden's decision to stop production in 2017. Abbott told reporters the $100 million fund would be used to "invest in potential employment-generating projects in South Australia and in Victoria"...


Greg Combet to head SA automotive industry transformation taskforce
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Greg Combet to head SA automotive industry transformation taskforce

Former federal government minister Greg Combet has been appointed South Australia's automotive transformation coordinator in a role that will see him oversee the evolution of the industry over the coming years. The appointment follows Holden's announcement that it will end production at its Elizabeth assembly plant in South Australia - and its Port Melbourne engine plant in Victoria - at the end of 2017...