Automakers urge Australian government to reinstate Green Car Innovation Fund

Toyota Style Australia-designed HC-CV concept vehicle – Click above for high-res image gallery

On January 27th 2011, Australia's Prime Minister Julia Gillard announced the closure of the $506-million Green Car Innovation Fund (GCIF). The cancellation was part of Australia's numerous measures enacted to support the rebuilding of infrastructure damaged by the series of catastrophic floods that hit Queensland beginning in December of 2010.

Australia's automakers have stepped up their push to have the GCIF reinstated. In a letter to Prime Minister Gillard, automakers have accused the government of breaching written contracts by abruptly canceling the GCIF.

General Motors Holden division, Toyota Australia and Ford Australia have banded together to demand that the Labor government take action on the matter immediately. The automakers argue that investments to construct engine production facilities and manufacturing plants within Australia have already been made on the basis that funding, from the GCIF, would cover a portion of the costs. However, the cancellation of the program, which was only enacted after automakers agreed to sign long-term "letters of commitment," could put all retooling efforts on hold.

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[Source: Ward's Auto – sub. req.]

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