Darebin Mayor Tim Laurence's council car is a Holden Cruze, but he said only about 50 per cent of the city's 10,0120 small vehicles were made locally. In a bid to support Melbourne's car manufacturing industry, the council last week voted to buy only Aussie-made new fleet and salary-sacrifice cars.
When buying specialist operational vehicles, they agreed to also preference Australian manufacturers. Cr Laurence said there are still Darebin residents working for car manufacturers Ford, Holden and Toyota in Melbourne, and for associated auto parts suppliers across the northern suburbs.
“In Darebin, Whittlesea, Moreland and Hume, the auto and food industries are probably the two sectors that underpin the economy,” he said.
Thomastown and Reservoir-based parts manufacturer Diver Consolidated Industries supplies aluminium parts for Holden's VF Commodore and employs about 100 staff. Company chief executive Jim Griffin welcomed the new policy and hoped other councils would follow Darebin's lead.
Mr Griffin, also president of the Federation of Automotive Products Manufacturers, said only about a third of the estimated 60,000 vehicles owned by the federal, state and territory governments were made in Australia.
“The effect of the (high) Australian dollar has been felt greatly across the industry (and as a result) vehicle production volumes have dropped,” Mr Griffin said.