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Save jobs in our automotive industry and keep our marketplace fair!

This petition had 1,692 supporters

Australian motorists want cheaper cars and a wider choice of good quality used vehicles 

For the last three decades, Australian taxpayers have subsidised the manufacturing of vehicles in Australia to the tune of tens of billions of dollars.

Not only that, the federal government has offered additional protection to Australian vehicle manufacturers and distributors, by preventing used vehicles being imported from overseas in any reasonable numbers. In 2015, the number of eligible imported used vehicles totalled just 7,500 units, as opposed to sales of almost 1.2 million new cars. In percentage terms, imported used vehicles represent just 0.6% of the market; even less when compared with the four million used vehicles that change hands in Australia each year.

In 2017, all manufacturing of vehicles in Australia will cease; all vehicles will soon be imported. There is nothing left to protect any more.

Two separate government inquiries have recommended that used vehicles under 5 years of age should be eligible for import to Australia – why hasn’t the change happened?

Both the Productivity Commission report on Australia’s Automotive Manufacturing Industry and the Competition Policy Review concluded that "progressively relaxing restrictions on the wide-scale importation of second-hand passenger and light commercial vehicles would have net benefits for the community as a whole. “

So why hasn't it happened yet? Simple - new car manufacturers are dead set against it because they think imported used vehicles will drive down prices and cut into their profits.

The industry bodies that once represented Australian vehicle manufacturers are now instead representing the companies that are importing new vehicles to Australia. They are well organised and extremely well financed, with full-time lobbyists based in Canberra knocking regularly on politicians’ doors.

So not only do the big players get to choose which cars you buy, they also get to stop others from importing the cars they don't wish to sell! As a result, we pay some of the highest prices in the developed world for both new and used vehicles.

The Imported Used Vehicle industry - the 'black sheep' of the Australian automotive sector

Unlike new vehicles, imported used vehicles must undergo a range of processes to ensure they meet Australian safety standards before being registered for road use. From the shipping lines, to customs brokers, to transport companies, to compliance workshops, automotive engineers and even car detailers, the imported used vehicle industry employs many hundreds of people, predominantly in small businesses. This sector has operated for decades without any government subsidies or financial assistance whatsoever.

If given the opportunity to expand, many new jobs could be created, right at a time when so many automotive workers will find themselves out of work, courtesy of the closure of our last three car-making plants.

Instead, proposed changes to importing regulations will instead see the number of imported used vehicles drop significantly – this WILL cost jobs!

Rather than following the recommendations of two separate government inquiries, the bureaucrats in Canberra have bowed to pressure from the big end of town and proposed a new set of criteria for importing used vehicles that means many popular models will become ineligible, with total imported vehicle numbers dropping by up to 72%!

Not only does this means less choice for you, it will be the final nail in the coffin for a sector where businesses are already under pressure to make ends meet. In some cases, family businesses that have battled the government and big corporations for decades will have no choice but to finally walk away.

Minister Fletcher, hundreds of jobs could be lost! Please look after the hundreds of small businesses affected by the proposed legislation changes, and give Australian consumers more choice over the cars they buy!

  • STOP listening to the big cartels who want to protect their profits, simply because they have the money to lobby harder
  • STOP letting departmental staff decide how the new legislation should be framed - it's akin to the tail wagging the dog
  • STOP the enactment of legislation that enables new car importers to have their cake and eat it too
  • PLEASE listen to the recommendations of two separate inquiries and help create a fairer marketplace, for consumers and small businesses
  • PLEASE help protect jobs in the automotive sector by supporting small businesses that are keen to expand
  • PLEASE give Australian motorists choice over what they drive.

Today: Australian Imported Motor Vehicle Industry Association is counting on you

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