Toyota Australia’s announcement on Monday afternoon that it will join Ford and Holden in closing down its entire Australian manufacturing operation by the end of 2017 was a dark day for Australia’s entire manufacturing industry and spells the end of the road for car manufacturing in Australia. This announcement will have a devastating impact on some AAAA member businesses and will decimate the entire OE supply chain. Having spent the greater part of my working life in various roles delivering initiatives aimed at supporting and growing our automotive component producers across the supply chain, I have many friends that will be directly impacted by these developments and my thoughts go out to them and the many thousands of Australian families in our industry that now face an uncertain future. The forces that combined to seal the fate of the car industry in Australia were so strong that in the end there is really nothing that anyone could have done to change the outcome. Even taking all this into account - it is still hard to accept that we will no longer be building cars in Australia.
The question that everyone wants answered now is what will happen to the tens of thousands of employees that will lose their jobs and what will be left after the exit of the car industry. While the aftermarket manufacturing industry will clearly be impacted by the car industry shutdown I do not subscribe to the view that this will spell the end of aftermarket manufacturing in Australia.
If the full growth potential of the automotive aftermarket segment is realised, it can absorb some of the excess capacity, skills and knowledge that becomes available as the shutdown of the Australian domestic passenger vehicle sector plays out. The aftermarket has achieved international success while under intense import pressure. Aftermarket manufacturers have been forced to move up the value chain, from service parts to high value specialty products with a technological advantage such as 4WD parts and accessories, high performance and motorsport components. This competition has created an Australian aftermarket manufacturing industry that has the right pre-conditions to be a globally competitive sector. Our businesses have been successful because they have made significant investments in R&D and capital equipment, and have a strong export focus.
The AAAA is working hard to ensure that the scale and future opportunities in our manufacturing sector are well understood by Federal and State politicians, public servants and the Productivity Commission. Yesterday I wrote to the Federal Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane seeking an urgent meeting to discuss the role the aftermarket can play in offsetting some of the damage caused by the withdrawal of the car industry and tomorrow afternoon I will attend a roundtable meeting Chaired by the Victorian Premier on the same subject. We will also continue our representations to the Productivity Commission Inquiry into the automotive industry which will now be “reorientated” to focus solely on component suppliers and their potential to access new markets both domestically and internationally.
We are calling on the Federal Government to accept its leadership role in facilitating urgent structural adjustment in the automotive industry. We believe that Australian manufacturing industry as a whole desperately needs visionary policy settings from this Government. We don’t need more inquiries or lectures about ‘entitlement’. We need consistent and long term policies to stimulate R&D and target new markets. These policies must be based on independent research and advice designed to foster economic growth across a range of industries. We also need trade agreements that deliver fair outcomes for consumers as well as Australian manufacturers. Such policy will enhance Australian manufacturing competitiveness and innovation, and will facilitate access to new export markets with real and sustainable growth prospects.
The automotive aftermarket manufacturing segment has never been subsidised by Government, is not heavily unionised, does not have inefficient EBAs in place and is heavily trade exposed. All the right pre-conditions are in place for further growth. Whether this occurs is really up to Government……and what they do next.
RIP Australian Car Manufacturing Industry. Toyota today announced their intent to follow Ford and Holden's withdrawal from manufacturing in Australia...
With many thousands of jobs lost through these closures, it is time for the government to recognise the importance of the Motoring Enthusiast culture and our passion for modifying our vehicles. A further 30,000 Australians are employed in the automotive after-market industry and contribute some $11 Billion to the local economy; or is this industry to be seen as just another casualty of government negligence in protecting the livelihood of Australians. We will be working closely with the AAAA (Australian Automotive Aftermarket Association) to ensure we protect this industry and the families it employs.
It is time for the government to realise they can not continue to ignore our local manufacturing industry - or is this just the next phase in selling out Australia to the highest bidder?
Over the past few months the AMEP have been working behind the scenes on developing a strong foundation and strategic plan for the future of the Party.
One of the initiatives is the establishment of an Advisory Council consisting of suitably qualified people who represent the diversity of our culture. The Advisory Council will provide expert advice to the Party regarding policy and direction. In working together with Industry and Peak Motoring Bodies we can achieve far more than working alone.
We are also inviting our Members to “Have their say” through a Members Survey. We are currently drafting a Survey that will cover a range of the party’s key policy areas as an opportunity to gauge members input and ideas. The findings will then be used to further refine our goals and policy objectives, launch investigations for more data, and to seek out and gain industry support.
A “Think Tank” is also being planned for each State later in the year; where industry leaders and representatives will be invited to take part. A Members Conference will follow where we can “workshop” ideas and initiatives.
2014 is going to be a big year, and in working together with our community and industry, much will be achieved.
Senator-elect, Ricky Muir is off to Canberra tomorrow for the opening of the 44th Parliament, and will be taking part in the first of his orientation days for the Senate.
It is hard to believe it has only been two months since the election, and one month since the seat was publicly declared. We can certainly attest to the statement that “a week is a long time in politics”!
Much has happened in this time and we would like to take this opportunity for a quick update.
The strategy for the Party since the election has been simple:
Having a Motoring Enthusiast Senator holding the balance of power is a huge responsibility and opportunity for our culture, and Senator-elect Ricky Muir will be surrounding himself with the best people to enable him to take on the huge task ahead.
Many people have asked “Where is Ricky?”… It should be noted that Ricky is an everyday Australian; like most Australians, he has to work to support his family. So until he takes up his position in July, or until resources become available, his time is limited. However please know he is putting all the time he has into preparing for the job ahead.
Once Ricky takes up his position in July, he is there for six years. This is an unprecedented opportunity for the Motoring Enthusiast culture, and an opportunity to create positive change for our community at a national level.
For the Party, our next goals are focusing on improving communication and bringing together people with the necessary talents and experience to take the party to the next level.
Exciting times ahead for Motoring Enthusiasts!
More information to come soon…
When Mr Muir joined the newly-formed Australian Motoring Enthusiast Party, he could not even contemplate being whisked off to Canberra to represent his home state and motorists across Australia.
“It’s an awesome responsibility; exciting and daunting at the same time,” the potential Senator Muir said from his home in rural Gippsland.
“I am a committed supporter of the AMEP and the freedoms it seeks, but also very conscious of the responsibility I will be taking on if elected to the Senate.”
Mr Muir was candid in addressing comments attributed to him and video footage of “youthful hi-jinks” some years ago. He maintains that the need to provide a steadying influence on a young family means those days are behind him.
“When you have kids, you need to teach them respect for other people, the environment and their future,” he said.
“I am a dedicated four-wheel drive enthusiast who loves to explore and enjoy interesting areas away from the main roads with my family. However I am finding access to those places is becoming so restricted that enthusiasts of the future might never see them.”
The AMEP was formed as the political voice for a wide range of motoring enthusiasts, including owners of modified, classic and 4WD vehicles. It also provides support for businesses which owe their existence to the $11 billion after-market automotive industry.
Mr Muir also believes that the Australian Motoring Enthusiast Party can make a real difference in the areas of road safety and driver education.
“The previous Government laid out an ambitious plan to improve our education system Australia-wide, but no one has taken a similar national approach to equipping young drivers with the skills needed to survive on our roads,” he stated.
“Other countries have dedicated programs that gradually expose young people to the dynamics and responsibilities of driving. I believe this country owes it to our kids and their parents to instil an attitude that driving is a serious responsibility and a privilege.”
Mr Muir acknowledged that some people in the wider community may have linked the AMEP with so-called ‘hoon’ behaviour, and was quick to dispel these fears. “I want to emphasis from the outset that driving which endangers life is not acceptable to our Party, nor the people who represent it.”
“We do, however, have concerns about the targeting of responsible, family-oriented and law-abiding people whose cars appear different from the mainstream. We will also seek Federal intervention in the inconsistent system of State-based vehicle registration requirements that can make a safe and legal car from one state illegal and unsafe in another the minute it crosses the border.”
Like his fellow candidates, Mr Muir hopes that the anxious wait for a result will soon be over.
“Whichever way it falls when the Senate poll is declared, this has been an unforgettable experience,” he commented. “Hopefully I am successful and can use my time in the Senate to create some permanent positive outcomes for current motoring enthusiasts and for future Australian motorists.”
With Ricky Muir looking set to take a seat in the Senate as the lead Victorian candidate for the Australian Motoring Enthusiast Party, the haters, the negative side of the media and disgruntled politicians have come out in force in their attempted discrediting of both the AMEP and Senator Elect, Ricky Muir, implying that every-day Australians have no right or place in the Government.
When the Australian Motoring Enthusiast Party formed some four months back, we made the decision not to participate in the under-handed tactics so common-place in Australian politics. We have not involved ourselves in any war of words with others, and have not come out in the media with negative comment about other parties - we have run a clean campaign and it is our intent to keep it that way.
It is amazing to think that the media had to trawl back through several years of Ricky's Facebook page looking for anything to discredit him, whilst ignoring all of his personal photographs showing him as the person he truly is; a loving, caring father; an outdoors lover; a larrikin (which, according to Australian Dictionary.org, is "Someone who is always enjoying himself/herself, harmless prankster"); an every-day Aussie bloke who believes in his country.
There are now suggestions from a range of people within and outside the Government who want to change an electoral system which has, for more than 60 years, allowed them to control the political landscape, a system which they have used very-much to their advantage in their political battles over the years. In this election, though, something changed. The Australian people have expressed their disappointment in the way they have been treated by consecutive governments over the past years and have decided to elect a number of Micro Parties and independents to the Senate to assure there is balance and a check on the government’s self-proclaimed ‘mandate’. Our fore-fathers wrote the game rules and the duopoly have used it to their benefit for many decades. Now they are heading back home to Canberra to have a cry and re-write the rules to recapture the dominance of the Major Parties. Their efforts to stop every-day Australians exercising their democratic right to become a part of our government will not go un-noticed. Shame...
The AMEP has had enthusiastic support from within our community, and this is only the beginning; now the real work begins. With your ongoing support of Ricky Muir and the AMEP, we will continue to grow and we will make a difference.
And just so you have both sides of the story, here's a photo of Ricky when he's not throwing Kangaroo-Poo at this brother...
2013 - Year of the Motoring Enthusiast
Australian Motoring Enthusiast Party
Motoring Enthusiast and Proud...
At this point the final count has not been completed, but our Victorian Senate Candidate, Ricky Muir is in the running to win the final Victorian seat.
Ultimately we have achieved our original goal of uniting the motoring community, and should Ricky be declared the winner at the end of the final count, he will certainly do us proud.
We ran candidates in all five mainland states, and all candidates, along with their supporters and helpers, had a good showing. We congratulate you all in your contribution and success in giving a voice to the Motoring Enthusiast community.
On behalf of Ricky and the team, we thank everyone for their support and we will keep you posted as we know more...
Australian Motoring Enthusiast Party
We are getting many offers to assist the AMEP on Election Day which is fantastic. Most booths will have cars on display, lots of AMEP signage and an enthusiastic group of supporters handing out “How to Vote” cards. The support is overwhelming and the atmosphere is more of a celebration of our culture than a day spent handing out flyers. We think this is pretty cool.
If you would like to join in the fun and help out on a booth the list below will show you where we will be. Come and say g’day, stay for a bit to help out and get you know your fellow Motoring Enthusiasts. Each booth will have a point person to give you a rundown of what to say and how to answer any questions you may get. Make sure you bring your sun smart gear and if you can wear a Motoring type of shirt that would be cool (club shirt, Motorsport team etc).
Any booth listed in bold text is running short and could do with a few extra hands. If you can assist on those booths it would be greatly appreciated.
Please use the Comment section below (you will have to log in via Facebook or email) to advise which booth you can help at or alternatively send us a Message via Facebook or an email to email@example.com
Let us make this Saturday one of the biggest days to remember in 2013 – The Year of Motoring Enthusiast.
New South Wales Booths
Western Australia Booths
South Australia Booths
Exact booths are still being decided however the list below will give an indication of where we will be. If you can assist please leave Nathan Green a message on his Facebook Page here https://www.facebook.com/AustralianMotoringEnthusiastPartyofSA or check back on this page on Thursday and Friday.
Athelstone – To be confirmed
Secretary of the AMEP, Keith Littler, said “After months of uncertainty and speculation, the announcement now allows all Australian political parties to focus squarely on the job at hand.
“The Australian Motoring Enthusiast Party is standing Senate candidates on a platform of Road Safety, and in particular, the need for Driver Education. Our support is substantial and we will be sending a strong message to government at the polls.”
Whilst the Prime Minister has said the election will be about “…who the Australian people trust to best lead them”, the AMEP says voters are tired of being lied to and mislead by major parties.
“It is time to introduce a balance into the Senate decision making process; it is time to have a representation of every-day Australians in our government”, Mr Littler said.
The AMEP is standing Senate Candidates in Queensland, NSW, Victoria, SA and WA.
Address: PO Box 4542, Springfield, Queensland 4300