Ministers statements: Automotive Transition Taskforce

Mr CARROLL (Minister for Industry and Employment) (11:35:47) — I rise to update the house on the achievements of the Andrews Labor government’s automotive transition plan and the work of the Automotive Transition Taskforce. When we came to government in 2014 Holden, Ford and Toyota had announced that they would stop manufacturing in Victoria. Some thought the Victorian economy would struggle, but it did not. Economists predicted that the gross state product would drop by 1.9 per cent and a significant portion of tier 1 and tier 2 auto supply chain companies were expected to close. In the face of this challenge the Andrews Labor government established the Victorian Automotive Transition Taskforce and invested millions of dollars in an auto transition plan. I want to pay tribute to my predecessors, the member for Williamstown and the member for Mill Park, but I also pay tribute to my parliamentary secretary, the member for Eltham, as well as the member for Broadmeadows. The list could go on — it has been a team effort, unlike the other side.

Let us talk about windscreens. We know about Windscreens O’Brien, but have I told you about Flat Glass Industries windscreens down in Geelong? The member for Geelong knows it very well. This was a tier 1 and tier 2 supplier that supplied windscreens to the automotive market — Ford, Toyota and Holden. With our assistance and as part of our $130 million investment in manufacturing, which has actually seen growth for 17 consecutive months, which would never have occurred under the watch of those opposite, we have transitioned that company and we are getting on with the job. They are now actually supplying the architectural market, something that Mr Ventnor over there would have loved to have seen happen.

The SPEAKER — Order! The minister should use correct titles.

Mr CARROLL — They have been a wonderful company, investing and looking after their employees. Flat Glass Industries do not crack like the member for Malvern likes to crack — they get on with the job and make sure all of their workers are supported through our support.

Mr Hodgett — On a point of order, Speaker, I would ask you to bring the minister back to actually making a ministers statement on his portfolio responsibilities. On a day when they have destroyed people’s lives I would have thought that they would be a bit more serious about their portfolio responsibilities.

The SPEAKER — Order! The minister to come back to making a ministers statement.

Mr CARROLL — Two figures: when we came to office the unemployment rate was 6.7 per cent. What is it today? Five per cent. I rest my case.