ABC News Online reports that Asutralia’s Victorian State government is warning of the loss of thousands of car industry jobs if the federal government goes ahead with car tariff reductions.

The Australian government is considering a proposal to reduce car tariffs from 15 to 10 per cent in 2005, with further reductions after that.

The ABC report says that the Victorian State’s Manufacturing Industry Minister, Rob Hulls, is meeting mayors of more than 30 councils across Victoria to discuss a coordinated response to the recommendations.

Mr Hulls says further tariff cuts would ruin the industry in Victoria.

“This state is the engine room of Australia’s auto industry,” he told ABC.

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“We have three of the four major manufacturers and around 150 automotive component makers here in Victoria and we can’t afford to let the Commonwealth Government destroy the auto industry.”