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Analysis and Comment (10)

Corporate welfare? What corporate welfare? Corporate welfare? What corporate welfare? Alan Porritt/AAP

Big ticket items missing from ‘corporate welfare’ discussion

The fuss about corporate welfare, deemed “unsustainable” by Treasurer Joe Hockey, appears almost diversionary considering the relative size of industry assistance in overall government spending. Industry…
Efficient manufacturing depends largely on scale, and Australia’s car production numbers have fallen. Efficient manufacturing depends largely on scale, and Australia’s car production numbers have fallen. AAP/Adi Weda

Car manufacturing numbers just don’t stack up

Now that the final nail has been hammered in to the car industry’s coffin, what does it mean for the Australian economy? As always, the data is a good place to start. Efficient manufacturing depends largely…
Prime Minister Tony Abbott is betting the rapid demise of Australia’s automotive sector can be contained politically. Prime Minister Tony Abbott is betting the rapid demise of Australia’s automotive sector can be contained politically. Alan Porritt/AAP

Managed decline to rapid demise: Abbott’s car industry gamble

For the past 30 years, Australian automotive industry policies can be characterised as managed decline. Beginning in the 1980s with the Button Plan, the aim of policy was to consolidate the industry and…
The impact of job loss on car industry workers is multifaceted, and those arguing ‘better jobs’ will emerge could be fooling themselves. The impact of job loss on car industry workers is multifaceted, and those arguing ‘better jobs’ will emerge could be fooling themselves. Julian Smith/AAP

What the departure of Toyota, Holden and Ford really means for workers

People change jobs constantly, and the jobs lost in car manufacturing closures are insignificant in the context of total job changes - no different to everyday job changes. So say some commentators opining…
Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane have drawn a line in the sand on industry assistance…or have they? Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane have drawn a line in the sand on industry assistance…or have they? Alan Porritt/AAP

SPC Ardmona decision is fiscal policy disguised as industry policy

Announcing the decision to refuse assistance to SPC Ardmona, Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane said: “I think it is a clear delineation of where this government believes we need to go with industry policy…
Labor’s jobs package provides its future direction for industry for the first time; but can it deliver, and more importantly, will it survive political opposition? Labor’s jobs package provides its future direction for industry for the first time; but can it deliver, and more importantly, will it survive political opposition? AAP

Planning for a blue-collar Australia: will Labor’s job package deliver?

Labor has finally delivered the detail of its much-awaited vision for shaping Australian industry beyond the mining boom. But will it deliver? In a two part series, UWA Professor Tim Mazzarol examines…
A behind-the-scenes subsidy is likely to stick around longer than a cash subsidy. A behind-the-scenes subsidy is likely to stick around longer than a cash subsidy. bicyclemark/Flickr

As solar hot water gets axed, what is the logic in industry subsidies?

The sudden cessation of the Federal Government’s subsidies to solar hot water installations illustrates why subsidy-seekers mostly prefer industry assistance to come in hidden forms, rather than cash…
Australia needs to have a serious and healthy debate on what the “Australian made” brand represents. Australia needs to have a serious and healthy debate on what the “Australian made” brand represents. iStockphoto/Hamza Bendemra

First Qantas, now the Commodore: are we losing what makes Australia great?

Reports suggesting Holden is considering phasing out major parts of the manufacturing chain for the iconic Commodore points to a worrying trend of off-shoring the very skills manufacturing needs in order…
Is the family car of our imagination the family car of the future? Is the family car of our imagination the family car of the future? blentley

The end of the Commodore? Redefining the myth of the Australian family car

Over the past ten years, total vehicle sales in Australia have increased by roughly 35%. But sales of the once-most-popular cars, the Holden Commodore and Ford Falcon, have halved. This fall in sales has…
BlueScope has fallen victim to a changing export market, high Australian dollar and gradual structural shift to free trade policies. BlueScope has fallen victim to a changing export market, high Australian dollar and gradual structural shift to free trade policies. AAP

‘Once upon a time, when Australia had a steel industry …’

Once upon a time, 30 years ago, when we still thought the steel industry was an endless and bottomless well for economic growth and employment, many of us also believed in industry policy, corporate responsibility…