THE NEWS WRAP: Former Ford boss says death of Australian auto industry “inevitable”

Former Ford boss and BHP Billiton chairman Jac Nasser has lamented Australia’s lack of patriotism in the auto industry, claiming the closure of the Australian operations of either Holden, Ford or Toyota could spark a “domino effect” in our local auto industry.


“The signs aren’t good, and particularly when the car industry is reducing the number of engineers they have in the workforce. That’s a leading indicator of a reduction in future programs and future technology,” Nasser said.


“Let’s assume one of the three decides to exit Australia in terms of manufacturing, then you end up potentially with a sub-scale supplier infrastructure and, once that happens, I think it’s a domino effect. It would be a very sad day for Australia, but unfortunately it looks like it could be inevitable.”


Coalition flags possible industrial relations changes


Shadow workplace relations minister Eric Abetz has raised possible limits on the conditions unions could place in enterprise bargaining agreements as a possible Coalition industrial relations reform, with agreements limited to matters directly relating to the employment relationship.


Senator Abetz has also attacked recent and proposed amendments to the Fair Work Act, including a proposal to introduce compulsory arbitration in long-running disputes.


“You’ve got to wonder, if it was so important that compulsory arbitration not be a hallmark of the Fair Work regime in 2007 and 2008, what’s changed? Unions threatening to withdraw election funding unless this extra change is fast-tracked?” Abetz said.


Telstra to cut up to 55 jobs from its online media unit


Telstra’s chief marketing officer Mark Buckman is heading up a review of the company’s digital media division that could see up to 55 jobs cut, according to The Australian.


The aim of the review is to streamline the company’s focus around its three key media assets, including T-Box, exclusive digital music and sports content, as well as Foxtel, of which the telco giant owns 50%.


“We think that if we focus on being a core partner for Foxtel in reselling Foxtel through Telstra, if we become the number one IPTV provider in the country and if we deliver the best and most compelling content in the digital content services business… we have the opportunity to be a leading player (in this space),” Mr Buckman said.




The Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 0.42% to 14,865.14. The Aussie dollar is up to US105.3 cents.


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