In the space of the last year, all of these foreign owned car manufacturers have announced their intention to cease manufacturing on Australian soil.
Blind Freddy could have seen this coming from a mile away, even if the subsidies that have supposedly been keeping these jobs in Australia for the last couple of decades were put on the table again, there is a fair chance all three companies could have decided to leave anyhow.
On that note, it is an opportune time to reflect on the massive amount of material support these companies have gleaned off the Australian people over the years. Massive amounts of taxpayer subsidies have been pumped into these foreign auto conglomerates over the years, reaching a critical mass over the last ten years. All three of these companies were given huge tracts of land to build their factories on.
The key thing to note here is that ever since cars have been manufactured on a large scale in Australia, beginning with the Chifley/General Motors agreement of the late 1940s, a system has been developed in which the losses of the industry and a huge lump of the costs have been burdened by the Australian people, whilst the profits have flowed overseas.
The demise of the car industry presents a fork in the road and also a glimmering opportunity to learn from the mistakes of the past and build a cornerstone for an independent future. Those massive tracts of land granted to Ford, GM and Toyota and the equipment within it? Let's nationalise it all. We paid for it, let's take it back. Let's retool them to manufacture the things we need, low emission cars, new trains and trams and the like.
The workers that currently look like they're going to tossed out on their arse by the foreign capitalists would retain their jobs, as well as thousands more being created. We'd be able to define the future of transport in this country, by building the things we need desperately, not simply building what some fat cat in Detroit thinks will stuff his back pocket. Most tellingly, any profit made would not only stay in the country, but be further re invested into creating a better Australia for us all.