New collaborative LPG study to revive manufacturing

The development could see manufacturing jobs return to Geelong, following the closure of major plants.

The development could see manufacturing jobs return to Geelong, following the closure of major plants.

Victorian Treasurer Tim Pallas has commended the Victorian Automobile Chamber of Commerce (VACC) and Gas Energy Australia for supporting a demand study to investigate a potentially new cutting edge LPG car industry, based in Geelong.

Brand new cars would be converted to LPG as part of the plan developed by VACC and Gas Energy Australia, following announcements by Ford, Holden and Toyota that car making would cease in Australia. The proposal would make use of existing car manufacturing expertise and facilities.

The Victorian Government recently announced $60,000 funding for a $155,000 demand study to establish if the proposed project is viable and sustainable. VACC and Gas Energy Australia are providing the remaining funds for the study.

Mr Pallas said industry’s contribution added much credibility to the work that the Victorian Government is doing.

“The Andrews Labor Government welcomes the support for this study by groups who understand the industry and further, are prepared to put their money where their mouth is. This is something that is seen by people on the ground with experience in the industry as being a very worthwhile exercise,” Mr Pallas said.

VACC Executive Director Geoff Gwilym welcomed the Victorian Government’s support.

“We are all interested to see if this idea has the potential to become a viable business case. If the study deems the plan unworkable, then we will have given it our best shot, but we would kick ourselves if we didn’t ask the question,” Mr Gwilym said.

Gas Energy Australia’s CEO Mike Carmody said regardless of the outcome of the demand study, it will have been a worthwhile exercise.

“The potential to create new jobs as conventional car manufacturing contracts must be explored – if it’s deemed to be viable, this plan will change the face of Australia’s LPG car conversion industry and help keep high-end skilled labour alive in Australia,” Mr Carmody said.

The demand study is expected to take four months to complete.

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