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THE NEWS WRAP: Victorian Premier goes to Canberra seeking assistance as Toyota pulls out of Australia

Tuesday, 11 February 2014 | By Gavin Lower

Toyota says it will stop making cars in Australia by the end of 2017, drawing the curtain on Australian car manufacturing and costing thousands of jobs.


Victorian Premier Denis Napthine will travel to Canberra seeking a federal assistance package.


About 2500 Victorian Toyota workers will lose their jobs, while thousands more jobs in the wider automotive industry are also at risk.


Toyota blamed Australia’s high dollar, the high cost of manufacturing in Australia and low economies of scale for the decision to leave Australia.


David Jones chairman and directors resign as part of “board renewal process”


The chairman of upmarket department store David Jones and two directors have quit amidst concerns around corporate governance issues.


David Jones said in a statement to the Australian Securities Exchange that chairman Peter Mason and director Leigh Clapham said they would resign within the next three months and director Steve Vamos said he was leave immediately as part of a “board renewal process”.


Shareholders were concerned Vamos and Clapham bought shares in David Jones last year, approved by Mason, just days before the release of better-than-expected quarterly sales. The trades were investigated by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, which decided not to take any action.


They were further angered when it was revealed rival Myer made a $3 billion merger proposal the day before the directors bought the shares.


Regional airline Rex warns aviation sector in peril


Regional airline Rex is warning the aviation sector will collapse without government support, after issuing a warning that pre-tax earnings for the first half of this financial year will be 40% lower than the same time last year.


Rex blamed a large drop in business travel for the decline in revenue.


"We implore the Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development to take immediate and forceful efforts to fulfil his election commitments to regional aviation outlined in the Coalition's Policy for Aviation, as many regional carriers have little time left before they face the same fate as Brindabella," chief operating officer Garry Filmer said in a statement.




The Dow Jones Industrial Average is marginally higher at 15,801.79 points, while the Australian dollar is buying US89.5 cents.