Automotive Industry

The Hon. A.L. McLACHLAN ( 14:38 ): My question is to the Minister for Automotive Transformation. Will the government grant of $450,000 provided to the Edinburgh Park-based business ZF Lemforder to assist it in phase 1 of its diversification plan be a final payment, or has there been any further discussions with or indications from the company regarding the need for further grants?

The Hon. K.J. MAHER (Minister for Manufacturing and Innovation, Minister for Automotive Transformation, Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation) ( 14:39 ): I can provide some general information and, if needed, some further specific information. The company in question was provided with a grant of almost half a million dollars to diversify out of the heavy reliance they have had on the automotive sector. I was out at their factory site on Friday of last week, looking at the project that they are diversifying into, which has do to with the side tipping of trucks, particularly in the agricultural and mining sectors.

The company is, of course, able to apply for further grants. The grants are assessed quite stringently. Greg Combet, who is the head of our Automotive Transformation Task Force, is heavily involved in making recommendations about which companies get grants. He has been quite stringent on making sure that only those companies which have genuine proposals, which will continue to provide employment and which will look like surviving after the end of automotive manufacturing ceases with Holden at the end of 2017, receive grants. They have received this grant, and certainly they are at liberty to apply for further grants. We are keen to back companies that have the ability and motivation to diversify into other areas, so they are at liberty to apply for further grants if they wish to.

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