Mike Stevens | Jul 30, 2009

STEVE BRACKS, the former premier of Victoria, is set to represent the Australian motor industry's interests in the United States by working to build opportunities and relationships in the world's biggest car market.

After completing the motor industry review that was instrumental in the development of the New Car Plan for a Greener Future launched by the Federal Government in late 2008, Bracks will now work to facilitate discussions and access for the Australian motor industry in the US market.

Bracks will be joined by John Conomos, who retired as Chairman Emeritus and Principal Policy Officer at Toyota Australia in 2008, and will fulfill a similar ambassadorial role in the Asian markets.

Senator Kim Carr, Minister for Innovation, Science and Research, said the move formed part of a new push to open up more export opportunities for the Australian motor industry.

“The envoys will play a key role in assisting the Australian automotive industry, particularly component suppliers, to access global supply chains in critical regions, including Asia, Europe and the US,” Senator Carr said.

“My recent visit to China has made it clear that there are real opportunities for Australian industry in integrating into growing global markets, especially in the Asia-Pacific.

"Mr Conomos and Mr Bracks are ideally placed to lift our efforts in securing new business and jobs for Australian workers."

David Purchase, Executive Director for the Victorian Automobile Chamber of Commerce, applauded the appointments.

“Mr Conomos and Mr Bracks have extensive experience of the domestic and global Automotive Industry. Their knowledge of Australian and international politics will prove invaluable in their new role," Mr Purchase said.

“The Australian Automotive Industry is a significant industry sector and one that deserves to be promoted, nationally and internationally.

"VACC can think of no better envoys to act as Ambassadors than Mr Conomos and Mr Bracks,”

Senator Carr said the Automotive Envoy initiative, taken under the Automotive Market Access Program (AMAP), reflects the Rudd Government's view that car manufacturing is a global business and that Australia needs to solidify its position in the international automotive market.

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