VACC Urges New Government To Do More To Help Automotive Industry

The Victorian Automotive Chamber of Commerce (VACC) has wasted no time telling the new Australian government there is “still much work to be done” to address several policy positions it says remain overlooked.

VACC CEO Geoff Gwilym said the chamber looks forward to working closely with the new Australian government, adding the Labor Party had shown “good will and support” for VACC’s key policy priorities. However, the VACC said there is “still much work to be done”.

“These are extremely important issues for the over 380,000 people working in the automotive industry within 72,521 businesses across the country,” Gwilym said. “We reiterate to the new government that there are several policy positions that remain overlooked. These need to be addressed and addressed right now.”

VACC’s priorities for the government include:

  • Boosting apprentice support
  • Improving eligibility for employers to sponsor skilled migrants
  • Committing to extending the recently reformed Franchise Code to include commercial vehicle, motorcycle, farm, and industrial machinery franchise dealers, affording these sectors the same legislative protections as new car dealers
  • Taking a leadership role in implementing a national Zero and Low Emission Vehicle (ZLEV) policy in collaboration with the automotive retail industry
  • Committing to the inclusion of state-based protections under the Australian Consumer Law and Fair-Trading Regulations 2012 (Vic) for the automotive industry regarding unfair contract terms (UCT), given the interruption of progress of UCT reform at a national level.

“There’s more to do, of course, but if the Australian government gets these policies quickly into place it will shore up a $40 billion sector. That’s good for every Australian,” Gwilym said.

“Regardless, VACC will continue to work with both sides of government to create meaningful reform that recognises and promotes the merits and key needs of the automotive industry amongst policymakers.”

The VACC said the automotive industry is a fundamental component of a well-functioning economy that is at “a critical juncture”.

“With the emergence of ZLEVs and a long-standing skills shortage, industry and government must work together,” the chamber said.