Australian-made fleets for governments

The South Australian and Victorian governments joined forces last week to encourage Australia's other governments to opt for vehicles manufactured locally when picking cars to purchase or lease for their fleets.

Victoria's premier Denis Napthine and South Australia's premier Jay Weatherill attended the Council of Australian Government's (COAG) meeting on Friday (April 19) to make their case.

Dr Napthine is adamant that "government procurement policies should recognise the importance of the local automotive manufacturing industry as a vital driver for investment and jobs in Australia".

Encouraging local governments to support the Australian automotive manufacturing industry can only be a good thing. This sector employs over 50,000 people and is a significant contributor to the country's economy.

In fact, every fleet manager in Australia should consider purchasing locally made cars for their fleets.

As of this moment, only the Victorian, Commonwealth and South Australian governments have implemented any form of policy that favours locally made fleet vehicles over those manufactured overseas.

Victoria's current strategy (the Victorian Government Standard Motor Vehicle policy) was updated in October last year. The policy has made it compulsory for all vehicles leased or purchased for government department fleets to have been "substantially manufactured in Australia".

"Substantially manufactured in Australia" is defined as "any vehicle where the body is assembled and painted in Australia and the compliance plate is fitted at the point of manufacturer in

The policy applies to both passenger vehicles and light commercial vehicles. There are some exceptions to this, however, with emergency services vehicles and cars for people with disabilities being exempt from the rule. Government agencies and departments are required to apply in writing to the head of VicFleet if they need to make these purchases.

"Premier Weatherill and I will be urging other states and territories to consider a similar approach to local procurement for all government vehicle fleets," Dr Napthine stated at the COAG meeting.