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Transcripts from the Prime Ministers of Australia

Transcript 8817


Photo of Keating, Paul

Keating, Paul

Period of Service: 20/12/1991 to 11/03/1996

More information about Keating, Paul on The National Archive website.

Release Date: 16/02/1993

Release Type: Speech

Transcript ID: 8817

Obviously this is a great day for the Australian car industry. We are here because
Toyota is here for the long haul.
It means1jobs. Long-term good jobs for Australians.
It means another step has been taken in the development Of world-class manufacturing
in Australia. It means another step in the integration of our economy wVith the world's,
and more especially with the region and Japan.
It means that the long relationship between Toyota and Australia continues to prosper
and grow. This is good for us. Toyota is, without doubt, one of the great companies of
the world. It is renowned for innovation, reliability and perfection.
Yesterday I spoke at the Best Practice and Benchrnarking Conference in Sydney. It
goes without saying that Toyota is a benchmark for any company in the world.
It is therefore automatically of great benefit to our manufacturing industry to have
Toyota here and expanding.
Of course the outstanding advantage for Australia in the present economic climate is
that Toyota's investment means long-term jobs for Australians.
Everyone here will be aware that it is my Government's great ambition to increase the
level of-investment -in Australia.
It is the most effective remedy for unemployment, indeed the only answer to the
entirely unacceptable levels of unemployment. we presently have.

That is why last Tuesday we announced that we will be cutting thecornany tax rate in
Australia from 39 per cent to 33, to make us competitive not only with OECDi
economics but with the economics of the Asia Pacific.
It was for the same purpose that we introduced a new investment allowance.
We are determined to bring forward the S130 billion worth of projects currently
claiming the allowance granted in the One Nation statement of twelve months ago.
We are also determined to get new investment going, particularly among small
companies of the kind surveyed in the recent McKinsey Company Report to the
Australian Manufacturing Council.
Small to medium sized companies charactrnsed by dynamic leadership, innovation,
attention to excellence, successful niche marketing and, no less, highly productive and
skilled workplaces.
There is no-one in this country, I should think, who does not recognise that we are
embarked on a course to become a successful, modern manufacturing nation.
I should think there is no--one who does not know that our way of life depends on it.
Equally, we know that our success in manufacturing. and in exporting the things we
design and make depends on new levels . of productivity.
We will not succeed by employing old patterns of production.
High levels of productivity, by definition, means fewer people making more and better
things. It follows that the answer to unemployment is growth a proliferation of
manufacturing effort and expertise. The key! 9ogrowth is investment..
won't today go into the details of the investment strategy we launched last week. But
I do want to talk about two broad related elements of Labor policy.
We take the view that Australia needs a car industry, and we believe that the car
industry in Australia needs an incentive to invest.
Dare I say it might come as a surprise to my opponents to learn that we in Australia are
not alone in the world in this.
We would be alone if we were to go to zero tariffs in the car industry.
We would be alone and without a car industry.
So let me say very plainly we are commnitted to a 15 per cent tariff for the Australian
car industry. 6365

We are also committed, you will know, to that mode of workplace bargaining known
as enterprise agreements.
in this we also take a different view to the Coalition. But, surprisingly enough. I will
not expound on this today.
I do not feel the need to proselytise because this project is built on a model enterprise
agreement. An agreement signed in December 1991 with 6000 Toyota employees.
It's an agreement linked to obtaining international best practice, and delivering to the
company and its employees mutual advantages unimaginable under the old workplace
arrangements of Australian industry and Australian industrial relations.
Advantages, I venture to say, unattainable under any alternative scheme in which
relationships are adversarial or unequal.
700 new enterprise agreements have been entered into in the past seven months.
They seem to me, like this one, clear evidence that we can achieve high levels of
productivity, best practice, international benchmarks in other words the world-class
manufacturing industry we need through enterprise agreements such as these.
As I said in the speech in Sydney yesterday, what is unfolding in Australia now is
' something like the realisation of a long-held ambition.
I remember fifteen years or so ago, coming to the conclusion that the prevailing
wisdom about Australia was all wrong.
There was no need for us to always remain an exporter of commodities, with such
manufacturing as we had crumbling away behind giant tariff walls.
It seemed to me then that we could become a world-class manufacturer. It seemed to
me very soon after, that if we did not, we had no future. it seems to me now in fact
there is no doubt that we are becoming a world-class; manufacturer, and for that
reason there is no doubt about our future.
I could say a great deal more about the subject, but this is a day for Toyota's
management and workers to celebrate. There is doubtless much for Australians and
particuilarly the people of Melbourne to celebrate as well.
For my part, and for John Button's rm sure, there is some measure of satisfation in
having been involved in the creation of economic and industrial policy which has
yielded such results as this.
We are determined to continue the great drive to make Australia competitive in the
world and in the region.
We believe that the best way to do this is not by the imposition of a textbook blueprint
or strict adherence to economic theory, but by a range of measures designed to take

account of factors unique to Australia, to various industries and their comparative
advantages and disadvantages.
We want the most competitive industries it is possible to have.
But we are not prepared to have major industries disappear for the sake of some notion
of what constitutes pure theory.
-Economic ~ policvs not a death or glory game. It requires a measure of subtlety, a
recognition of differences, of the need for interventions.
We might begin by reminding ourselves at the outset that there is no competition
where there is no industry at all.
And it doesn't hurt also to remember that in the end we want industry because we want
secure, creative and rewarding employment for our people.
That is what this $ 400 million investment by Toyota is creating.
That, and further recognition that Australia has the investment climate and the
workforce to make it a place where the best companies in the world can thrive.
And those are reasons for all of us to celebrate today. 6367

Transcript 8817