The first cab off the rank for election largess seems to be the car industry, with a promise of subsidies totalling $200 million. I thought Australia was positioning itself as a smart nation, but today’s announcement that Toyota will get $30 Million to build, what has to be a contender for most boring car in the world, the Camry, brings to mind the adage: do what you have always done and you get what you always got. No doubt in a couple of years threats of shutdowns will once again have the Government of the day handing over money to get those same car-makers to stay.
Alternatively, a smart nation could have spent $200 million to foster an Australian electric car industry. Have these people not heard of peak oil, in 5 years electric cars will take their place on Australian roads, and where will they come from? Overseas of course, while old technology Toyota Camrys roll off our taxpayer financed production lines. The second part of the announcement is that Government departments will have to purchase Australian cars, far better would have been an obligation to purchase Australian electric cars. And how about changes to the Fringe Benefit Tax (FBT) that currently rewards people who drive their petrol guzzling company cars furthest, to rewarding those who dive electric cars?
Times of affluence, such as Australia is currently enjoying should be times to engage in some future building, not living in the past, as demonstrated by funding conventional car plants.
Photo of Nissan Leaf electric car