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Carr blasts armoured vehicle decision
Government reversed decision to award contract to Holden-BAE in favour of BMW: Carr
5 Sep 2014
By TERRY MARTIN
SHADOW federal industry minister Kim Carr has blasted the Abbott government’s decision to award BMW a contract to supply it with armoured luxury cars, describing the move as another snub to the Australian automotive manufacturing industry.
According to Senator Carr, GM Holden had not only bid for the contract in partnership with specialist defence and security firm BAE Systems Australia but had been selected by the attorney-general’s department as the preferred tenderer.
He said contracts were about to be signed just prior to last year’s federal election, and that BMW was not even on the shortlist for the deal, which is reputedly worth $6.2 million.
As GoAuto has reported, the German manufacturer has this week confirmed it has won the right to supply the government nine armoured 7 Series limousines, each costing about $500,000, which will be owned by the attorney-general’s department and operated by the Australian Federal Police.
“The government’s claim that Holden failed to bid for the contract for the protected vehicles is incorrect,” Senator Carr said.
“Not only did Holden, in partnership with BAE Systems Australia, bid for the contract to replace the government VIP fleet, but the secretary of the attorney-general’s department approved the selection of the BAE-Holden consortium as the preferred tenderer.
“BMW was not on the shortlist, which included three other tenderers.” Senator Carr said the department had recommended the government purchase nine “specially modified Caprice Holdens to replace its ageing fleet used for high officeholders and visiting dignitaries”.
“Contracts were about to be signed before Labor lost office and the government has yet to explain why it overturned the decision,” he said.
Senator Carr said prime minister Abbott had “snubbed Holden to buy the BMW vehicles”.
“There is simply no other reason for overturning the department’s recommendation,” he said.
“What should have been a significant investment in Australian manufacturing and jobs will now head offshore.
“There has been no satisfactory explanation given, and it appears to be part of a vendetta against GM Holden.
“The government that has done all that it can to destroy Australian auto manufacturing. This announcement follows on the heels of the Productivity Commission’s report, which has been widely condemned within Australian manufacturing circles.
“The only thing this government is good at is exporting Australian jobs.”
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