The Australian Greens have today launched a bold plan to save South Australia's ailing car industry by redirecting funds from the Automotive Transformation Scheme to components manufacturers looking to tap into the global market for electric vehicles.
Australian Greens Senator for South Australia Penny Wright said the Greens plan would offer South Australian workers a future in global markets.
"Adelaide has a very skilled workforce when it comes to making cars and components," she said.
"The market for electric vehicles and hybrids is expected to exceed half a trillion dollars by 2025. They will all need high tech components and those components can be made right here in South Australia.
"Although Holden is leaving, our plan would also pave the way for new makers to build electric cars in South Australia.
"The SA government has said they want electric and hybrid vehicles to be the preferred form of transport in Adelaide. That's great, so why don't we make them here?"
The Greens will now enter into negotiations with the Federal Government, whose plan to slash subsidies to the car industry stalled in the Senate.
Australian Greens industry spokesperson Adam Bandt said the Greens proposal would leave the budget several hundred millions of dollars better off by redirecting most of the ATS funding towards a towards a green car transformation scheme.
"New makers in Australia and a component sector servicing the global alternative fuel car market could provide sustainable jobs for some of the workers in South Australia after Holden leaves," he said.
"We won't countenance any changes to the scheme that would see the existing car makers leave early and workers left in the lurch, but we're equally unhappy to just wait for the whole industry to drive off a cliff in 2017."