By Melbourne, Australia correspondent Angelina Dawn Summers-Winter
Australia’s car industry is about to get an additional injection of federal subsidies above the previously announced $100million, to develop vehicles with equal numbers of left and right hand threads, in line with similar requirements for other Australian-manufactured products.
GM Holden welcomed the initiative stating that it would usefully employ a number of Engineers and support staff in R&D for the foreseeable future. They added that it would be premature to announce new models employing the novel technology before doing any R&D.
Toyota and Ford Australia stated that they were still evaluating the legislation.
Victorian Greens MP Adam Bandit and South Australian Green Senator Sarah Knotsew-Bright worked together to draft the Bill and lobbied other members of Parliament around the clock for weeks to get the Bill passed as part of the pre-budget, pre-Easter legislative parcel. “The Bill”, said the Senator “will assure the continuation of the car industry in Victoria and South Australia on an equitable basis; without discriminating against left-handedness”.
Victorian Premier Andrew Daniels urged gender equity, announcing a $48million grant from the State of Victoria to CSIRO for research into male nuts and female screws. “It’s not enough that there are an equal number of male and female threads.” he said. “Females should be employed equally in both roles and not stereotyped to just the one.”
Engineers Australia’s National President Dr David Cruickshanks-Boyd welcomed both the legislation and the support for CSIRO research adding that it opened the doors to so many more young Engineers, male, female, left- and right-handed. “It’s such diversity that is required to sustainably tackle climate change in Australia’s low-carbon future this century” he said. “To solve real problems, we need a variety of perspectives and no pre-conceptions about what fits where and how.”
Neither the Victorian Automobile Chamber of Commerce (VACC) nor the Motor Trade Association Motor Trade Association of South Australia (MTA) could be reached for comment before going to press.