Abbott tries to run over Labor with car campaign

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Abbott tries to run over Labor with car campaign

Former Federal IR Minister, Tony Abbott has focused on Australia's car manufacturing industry, saying it would be at risk under an ALP Government with foreign investors worried productivity would slide - a claim Labor says is 'absolute nonsense'.

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Former Federal IR Minister, Tony Abbott has focused on Australia's car manufacturing industry, saying it would be at risk under an ALP Government with foreign investors worried productivity would slide - a claim Labor says is 'absolute nonsense'.

The Australian newspaper reports today that Holden GM, Toyota, Mitsubishi and Ford have told the Federal Government that their head offices in Tokyo and Detroit were reluctant to commit more investment to Australia.

Winding back

Abbott said foreign investors may consider winding back their Australian operations if Labor won government on November 24.

'The motor industry is very worried about the risk of Rudd and that's what the Japanese head offices are saying to their Australian representatives "can we be confident that the industry will be as successful under Labor's workplace relations policy as it has been under the Howard Government",' he told the Nine Network.

'I think this is a real problem for Labor. They certainly don't have the policies to ensure that we get productivity because basically it is going to go back to centralised wage fixing and pattern-bargaining.'

Productivity 'diving'

Opposition IR spokeswoman, Julia Gillard said productivity in Australia was continuing to dive under a Howard Government.

'Productivity in this country now is woeful, it's at 1.1%, it's just been revised downward,' she said. 'Any suggestion that WorkChoices is doing anything good for productivity is completely contradicted by the statistics.

'Just remember, we've had five interest rate increases since WorkChoices, so anyone who thinks WorkChoices is doing a good job keeping interest rates down can't be right either.'

Enterprise bargaining

The ALP's policy was not centralised wage fixing but enterprise bargaining, Gillard said.

'Labor is the political party that ended centralised wage fixing in this country and we're proud of it, that's why we want an enterprise-based system.'

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