Stakes too high for lost causes

Today in The Australian: “And then there were none. Late in May last year, Ford announced it would cease its vehicle assembly and engine production in Australia in October 2016; just before Christmas, General Motors Holden followed, with its closure due to occur by the end of 2017; and last week was Toyota’s turn, with its manufacturing operations also set to close by the end of 2017. “

About Henry Ergas

Henry Ergas is a columnist for The Australian newspaper and the inaugural Professor of Infrastructure Economics at the SMART Infrastructure Facility at the University of Wollongong. The SMART Infrastructure Facility is a $61.8 million world-class research and training centre concerned with integrated infrastructure solutions for the future. Henry is also Senior Economic Adviser to Deloitte Australia. Prior to these concurrent roles Henry worked as a consultant economist at NECG, CRA International and Concept Economics. Henry's previous career was as an economist at the OECD in Paris, where amongst other roles he headed the Secretary-General’s Task Force on Structural Adjustment and was Counsellor for Structural Policy in the Economics Department.
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15 Responses to Stakes too high for lost causes

  1. john constantine

    the entire australian atv fleet[four wheel agbike] will be occ health and safety culled out to be replaced with side by side utv agvehicles. pity they couldn’t be australian made. conversion of the australian heavy freight task to run on natural gas lpg/cpg would be a good move also.

  2. rickw

    “The SMART Infrastructure Facility is a $61.8 million world-class research and training centre concerned with integrated infrastructure solutions for the future.”

    Who pays for this? Remember the days when it would take a single architect / planner to lay out an entire city?

  3. Ant

    With redundancy “entitlements” so outrageously lavish why wouldn’t the corporate welfare slobs on the assembly lines be cheering the closures?

  4. Louis Hissink

    I’m always bemused by federal treasurers stating that they are paid to manage the economy.

    This is simply central planning, and we know where that leads to.

    Hence the mess we are in today is the result of economic central planning – it doesn’t work.

    Solution? Stop doing things which hamper the market, but at the same time don’t try to improve the market by positive policy either, people don’t need to be directed to good works, or self interest.

    In a more vulgar sense, government, from local to federal, so just get the heck out of our faces.

  5. tomix


    With redundancy “entitlements” so outrageously lavish why wouldn’t the corporate welfare slobs on the assembly lines be cheering the closures?

    That’s right. The only way they can get their cash out is to shut the place down. Makes sense, but still insane and a sure fire recipe for disaster.

  6. Tom

    The left lies about everything all the time. But I hadn’t realised how much the left lies about the car industry until I saw this graph on Thursday. Remember all the brazen leftard bullshit about how far Australia lagged behind other countries’ car industry subsidies? Nearly 50% of population will vote for the cnuts who made up these lies in 2016. The Australian civilisation is hanging on by its fingernails against this scum.

  7. Squirrel

    “Louis Hissink

    #1190035, posted on February 15, 2014 at 9:56 am

    I’m always bemused by federal treasurers stating that they are paid to manage the economy.

    This is simply central planning, and we know where that leads to.

    Hence the mess we are in today is the result of economic central planning – it doesn’t work.

    Solution? Stop doing things which hamper the market, but at the same time don’t try to improve the market by positive policy either, people don’t need to be directed to good works, or self interest.

    In a more vulgar sense, government, from local to federal, so just get the heck out of our faces.”

    Yes, depending on mood, I cringe and/or bristle when I hear politicians talking about “creating jobs” and speaking as if the money they’re spending, sorry, I got that wrong, I should have said “investing”, is their own.

  8. sabrina

    Rickw – Who pays for this?
    Bulk by the taxpayers. Ask Henry what are the tangible outputs.

  9. CR

    When do the current EBA’s expire for each car maker expire? Are they before the closures in 2016’17?
    Just wondering.

  10. tomix

    Dunno. But if it’s before departure, then the companies could let the unions strike in support of the new EBA, then lock the bastards out and keep them out until it suits them to reopen. Its not as if they don’t have a stockpile to keep the dealers going.

    Just a guess, The companies are happy to go elsewhere.

  11. Morriebombergstein

    I advised my fellow socialist Marxist Comrades to approach the Peoples Republic of China ,to set up a Joint Venture to manufacture motor vehicles in Australia. Comrades did this the Chinese were receptive ,suggesting the next AlP government Nationalize ,ford,holden and toyota ,to supply infrastructure at no cost,the only stumbling block is that they want to pay Chinese rates of pay ,with no extras minimum 30 hours a week at normal hourly rates Our Trade Union Comradesare Working Hard to Persuade Members to accept these conditions ,with the help of Mr. Gatto ,and the Comrades from the Motor Cycle Groups wuth Colousfull Names ,Power to Us People.

  12. blogstrop

    Good to see you’ve picked up on my parasite theme, Henry. Good article, even without that though.

  13. Disillusioned

    Interesting that VW autoworkers in the US have just rejected union affiliation at their factory.

  14. tomix

    They’ll still battle the unions. The stevedores got rid of the WWF in 1928. By the 40s they were back and sabotaging the war effort. The unions were kicked out of Robe River in 1986 to widespread relief, but they’re back there now.

    Trade Unions are powerful, insidious, and they are relentless. If the likes of Franco and Pinochet couldn’t prevent their re-emergence, what chance has the coalition got?

  15. Zatara

    It seems that some are learning from other’s mistakes .

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