Premier Denis Napthine and Deputy Premier Peter Ryan after their meeting with Prime Minister Tony Abbott. Photo: Andrew MearesFederal politics: full coverageAbbott warns of more economic shocks to comeState faces jobs crisis
Victorian Premier Denis Napthine and his deputy Peter Ryan have emerged empty-handed from emergency talks in Canberra with the Abbott government, aimed at finding replacement jobs and an economic adjustment package for tens of thousands of car sector workers.
Instead the Premier was reduced to claims of broad support, while getting nothing concrete.
The hastily arranged meeting took place on Tuesday afternoon less than 24 hours after Toyota Australia stunned both governments with the news of its impending closure in three years, sending 2500 direct employees to the dole queues and countless more in the broader car sector.
An inexplicably upbeat Dr Napthine praised the federal government for making several senior ministers available for the talks, arguing that Prime Minister Tony Abbott understood the implications for his state.
Mr Abbott was flanked by Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss, Treasurer Joe Hockey and Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane.
But while the Victorians presented a wish-list of road-building and other public projects designed to provide jobs in the construction phase and enhanced economic performance after that, the Premier received no commitments beyond a promise of more discussions.
”Tony Abbott says that he [wants] to be the infrastructure PM and I welcome that,” Dr Napthine told reporters in Canberra. ”I think that is a great title for any prime minister to aspire to and we in Victoria have a range of infrastructure projects that we’re very keen to have the federal government involved with.”
He described the meeting as a ”very, very productive discussion across a range of projects”.
”We have made a very strong case for defence work in Victoria, particularly with our ship-building at BAE Systems at Williamstown.
”There’s also the opportunities for training at our air force base at Sale.”
But on the key question of federal funding for Metro Rail, Dr Napthine was deliberately unclear, repeatedly refusing to say if the project had found any new chance of support.
”We had a very, very productive discussion across a range of projects, whether they be defence projects, whether they be infrastructure projects and of course a number of other parts to that discussion,” he repeated.
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.