The closure of the iconic Holden brand and General Motors’ withdrawal from Australia is as a direct result of the Coalition goading the company to end manufacturing in 2014.
The automotive shut down has been a catastrophe, brought about by Tony Abbott and Joe Hockey, but the Prime Minister Scott Morrison had a seat at the Cabinet table.
They showed no regard for the consequences of their actions, and still don’t.
The Government has constantly tried to pin the blame on General Motors for its own decisions.
The end of motor vehicle production has now brought down the entire Holden business – a company that Australians have known for 160 years.
Holden’s global R&D centre at Port Melbourne and testing ground at Lang Lang will be no more.
Dealerships around Australia will disappear.
The loss of dealerships will be another blow to employment in regional Australia, and to training in the industry.
Of the nearly 800 Holden employees across Australia 330 worked for Holden at the Port Melbourne site.
I am advised by senior executives in the United States that all Holden employees will be offered employment in General Motors.
The loss of the automotive designers and the design suites at Port Melbourne will have a devastating consequence on our economic complexity and resilience for many years to come.
This could have been avoided.
When Labor was in Government, Holden had plans for two new models and Toyota’s export business was thriving. Both companies wanted to continue making cars in this country.
But today Australians can see the consequences of the Coalition Government’s hostility to the automotive industry.
Hostility that saw General Motors not being able to get appointments with the Minister to discuss applying for the national interest test of the Automotive Transformation Scheme.
Hostility that saw General Motors stripped of the contract to provide the light armoured vehicles for the Prime Minister and the Governor General.
Hostility that saw General Motors removed from the list of tenders to provide the next generation of Comcar vehicles.
MONDAY, 17 FEBRUARY 2020