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Daniel Andrews Commits To Passing Victorian Budget; Calls On Napthine To Consult Governor

The Victorian Leader of the Opposition, Daniel Andrews, said tonight he wants Premier Denis Napthine to join him in calling on the Victorian Governor to seek a solution to the political crisis besetting the government. He says the ALP will pass the Budget but did not commit himself to a position on moving a motion of no-confidence.

Andrews

Andrews said that tomorrow morning he will refer claims by Napthine that Geoff Shaw demanded a particular judicial appointment to the Independent Broad-Based Anti-Corruption Commission (IBAC). [Read more…]


Defiant Napthine Says He Won’t Be Held To Ransom By Shaw; Says It’s Now Up To Andrews

A defiant Victorian Premier Denis Napthine has held a 7pm press conference to say that he won’t be held to ransom by Geoff Shaw.

Napthine

Napthine said the ball was now in Opposition Leader Daniel Andrews’s court. “He has said he will never accept the tainted vote of Mr. Shaw,” Napthine said. “We will continue to govern.” [Read more…]


Napthine Government On The Brink As Shaw Supports No-Confidence Motion And Governor Consults Opposition Leader

The Victorian Governor, Alex Chernov, has today met with the Opposition Leader, Daniel Andrews, whilst the maverick Liberal MP, Geoff Shaw, has said he will support a no-confidence motion against the Napthine government.

Donohue

The meeting was reported on Channel 7 at 6pm. Reporter Brendan Donohue said the meeting was to discuss the “instability” in parliament. It is not known if Chernov sought Premier Denis Napthine’s permission to consult with the Opposition Leader. In the constitutional crisis of 1975, Prime Minister Gough Whitlam gave the Governor-General, Sir John Kerr, permission to consult with the Opposition Leader, Malcolm Fraser. [Read more…]


Premiers Rebel Over Federal Budget Cuts; Demand COAG Meeting Before July 1

The States have rebelled over Federal Government Budget cuts, claiming that the impact will be felt on July 1, and demanding Prime Minister Tony Abbott convene a COAG meeting before then.

Newman

The State Premiers and Territory Chief Ministers met in Sydney today at a meeting called by the Queensland LNP Premier, Campbell Newman. The Western Australian Premier, Colin Barnett, was the only leader not to attend. [Read more…]


Australian Car Industry Dies: Toyota To End Local Production By End Of 2017

Toyota has announced that it will end vehicle and engine production in Australia by the end of 2017.

The announcement marks the formal death of the Australian car manufacturing industry. A product of post-war economic development, the automotive industry at its peak included manufacturing plants operated by General Motors Holden, Ford, Toyota, Nissan and Mitsubishi.

Toyota says “various negative factors such as an extremely competitive market and a strong Australian dollar, together with forecasts of a reduction in the total scale of vehicle production in Australia, have forced us to make this painful decision”. [Read more…]


Victorian Speaker Ken Smith Resigns; Christine Fyffe Takes Over

The Speaker of the Victorian Legislative Assembly, Ken Smith, has resigned and Liberal MP Christine Fyffe has been elected unopposed as the new Speaker.

Smith

Smith’s resignation came in a belligerent speech at the beginning of the new parliamentary year at 2pm today. Smith attacked Frankston MP Geoff Shaw, accusing him of “outrageous demands” and describing him as “unworthy” of being a member of parliament. [Read more…]


GMH To Close Australian Manufacturing Operations In 2017: Official

General Motors has announced that it will discontinue vehicle and engine manufacturing in Australia by the end of 2017, bringing to an end 60 years of making the iconic Holden car.

HoldenThe official announcement from General Motors says it will “transition to a national sales company in Australia and New Zealand”.

The decision will affect approximately 2,900 positions over the next four years, 1,600 in South Australia and 1,300 in Victoria.

The announcement cited the value of the Australian dollar as a chief reason for the decision. “The appreciation of the currency alone means that at the Australian dollar’s peak, making things in Australia was 65 percent more expensive compared to just a decade earlier.”

News of the General Motors decision was announced by the Victorian Premier, Denis Napthine, during Question Time. In Federal Parliament, the Opposition moved a motion criticising the government over the loss of jobs.

Treasurer Joe Hockey accused the Opposition of confected outrage and hypocrisy over Holden’s decision. He said global car manufacturers were moving operations to locations where production costs are cheaper. He pointed out that former Prime Minister Paul Keating, who as Treasurer floated the dollar in 1983, is to address the Labor Caucus tomorrow.

In Parliament yesterday, Hockey made a spirited demand that Holden announce its intentions. His remarks received front page treatment today, as shown below.

Text of a statement from General Motors.

GM to Transition to a National Sales Company in Australia and New Zealand

Company to cease manufacturing in Australia by 2017

GMDETROIT – As part of its ongoing actions to decisively address the performance of its global operations, General Motors today announced it would transition to a national sales company in Australia and New Zealand. The company also said it would discontinue vehicle and engine manufacturing and significantly reduce its engineering operations in Australia by the end of 2017. [Read more…]