Tomcar Australia (18.02.2014)
Written on the 28 February 2014
Ms CROZIER (Southern Metropolitan) -- My adjournment matter this evening is for the Minister for Manufacturing, Mr Hodgett.
As members of the house are well aware, our manufacturing sector is facing significant challenges at this time. Some of those challenges are due to the high Australian dollar and competition with international labour costs as well as other factors that have significantly impacted on the sector in Victoria. This government is doing much to support the sector where it can. As members are also aware, a number of automotive companies have made some significant corporate decisions. I refer of course to Ford's announcement last May, Holden's announcement in December and Toyota's more recent announcement that it will cease manufacturing in coming years.
There is, however, an automotive company based in Oakleigh that is manufacturing a revolutionary all-terrain utility vehicle -- the Tomcar, as it is known.I first visited the company in 2012 when the Tomcar was quite new. It was in the manufacturing stage; manufacturing commenced in 2011. The vehicle is based on an Israeli military vehicle. The company spent five years modifying it for Australian purposes and conditions and specifically for use in our mining sector, in the agricultural sector, in defence and in tourism. Interestingly the company also exports the vehicle to a number of international military markets. Demand for this vehicle is growing in both local and international markets.
I would like the minister to come and visit the company to understand further the relevant opportunities from the perspectives of both the local and international markets. There are many suppliers in the existing automotive sector that are feeding into this company. The demand, as I said, is growing. This is a great manufacturing story, and I would appreciate it if the minister could come to Oakleigh to see firsthand the company and the Tomcar in operation.