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Australian Financial Review : October 17th 2006
FBA 009 Announcing the First Maple Bond Transactions for Non-Financial Australian & New Zealand Corporates "TD Securities" is a trade-mark of the Toronto-Dominion Bank and represents TD Securities Inc., TD Securities (USA) LLC, TD Securities Ltd and certain investment banking activities of The Toronto-Dominion Bank and its subsidiaries. In Australia the activities of The Toronto-Dominion Bank under its AFS Licence are regulated by the Australian Securities and Investment Commission. Level 24, 9 Castlereagh Street, Sydney NSW 2000 T: 02 9619 8888 TDAP <GO> Publishing & Broadcasting (Finance) Pty Ltd C $150,000,000 C $275,000,000 5.39% Notes Due August 2016 Lead Manager & Sole Bookrunner TCNZ Finance Limited 4.75% Notes Due October 2013 Lead Manager & Sole Bookrunner The Australian Financial Review www.afr.com Tuesday 17 October 2006 9 Ford to cut Vic car production Alexander Symonds KEY POINTS Output at the Broadmeadows plant in Melbourne will drop from 65 cars an hour to 52. The company is looking at other cost reduction measures, including personnel cuts. Sluggish sales in the crucial large-car segment have forced Ford to cut production at its plants in Mel- bourne. The car maker told employees yesterday that from the third week in November it will be cutting production at its Broadmeadows plant to 52 cars an hour, down from 65 an hour. About 2000 people are employed at the Broadmeadows plant, and another 2000 are working at its Geelong plant, which is also expected to be affected by the production cuts. Public affairs manager at Ford, Sinead McAlary, said that the cuts in production were part of an overall cost reduction strategy, in an effort to match the number of cars being made with the current level of market demand. She said the company was looking at a number of other cost reduction measures including personnel cuts, but that nothing had been finalised. The cars produced by Ford in Australia are the Falcon and Terri- tory ranges, part of the larger car and 4WD segments, which have both declined in terms of sales. Figures from the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries showed that sales of large passenger cars fell by 7.1 per cent in September compared to the same month last year. So far this year, sales in this segment have dropped 21.3 per cent. New car sales overall have suf- fered a 5.3 per cent fall compared with September last year. Sales for the year came to 722,376 vehicles, 3.6 per cent fewer than at the corresponding period last year. But a recent decline in the price of petrol might be positive for the large-car category in the future. The Australian Manufacturing Workers' Union, which represents 3000 workers across all of Ford's divisions, said it hoped Ford would redeploy people into non- production areas if necessary. Federal secretary of the vehicle division, Ian Jones, said the union and car maker would be looking carefully at the state of the market and Ford's position within it, in order to help ensure ''the volume in production matches sales''. One option raised by the union leader was a reduction in the number of production days a fortnight to help adjust production levels. The industry has faced a number of challenges of late, as rising petrol prices have cut into sales in the larger-car segments, and the viability of key component makers in the industry has come under threat. Vanstone pans ALP visa policy Sophie Morris Labor would keep Christmas Island out of the migration zone. Photo: PHIL OAKLEY '' This is much more than a policy backflip -- it will put lives at risk.'' Immigration Minister Amanda Vanstone has criticised a proposal for Labor to ditch its support for temporary protection visas, claiming that by even considering this change the opposition could encourage a new wave of boat people. Labor Immigration spokesman Tony Burke said yesterday that he would ask the party's national conference in April to change Labor's stance on TPVs and support a policy of granting all genuine refugees permanent visas. ''I want to see a move away from our position on temporary protection,'' Mr Burke said yesterday. ''If you're leaving, you get in a plane; and if you're staying, you start your life here.'' But Senator Vanstone, in comments reminiscent of the stoush over border protection in the lead- up to the 2001 election, said the policy of granting refugees temporary rather than permanent protection had been effective in deterring people smugglers. ''[This] is much more than a policy backflip ± it will put lives at risk,'' she said. ''Just floating this change could in itself encourage a new wave of unauthorised boat arrivals.'' If Labor does vote in April to abolish TPVs, it will open up another refugee policy difference with the government. Labor also opposes the processing of asylum claims on foreign islands, such as Nauru. The proposed change comes after a Labor caucus committee found there was no reason why refugees should not be granted the rights of permanent residents. While the government still believes there is a need for the three- to five- year visas, their number has declined in the past year. The Department of Immigration said in June 2005 there were 5400 people on TPVs and temporary humanitarian visas and now there were 1430. The drop in numbers comes after Senator Vanstone announced in mid- 2004 that the 9500 people who were on TPVs could apply to stay permanently, in response to lobbying from rural coalition MPs. Mr Burke's office said his proposal did not affect temporary humanitarian visas, which are issued to people offshore, such as those who were brought to Australia from Kosovo in the late 1990s. Labor's support for TPVs has previously divided the party, as it struggled to reconcile the views of refugee advocates and those championing tough border protection. It was one of the issues Carmen Lawrence cited on quitting Labor's frontbench in December 2002. Labor for Refugees failed to have TPVs removed from the platform in 2004. Dr Lawrence said she was pleased with the move on TPVs, but she would also like Labor to reverse its support for the excision of Christmas Island from the migration zone.