The South Australian and Federal governments have met with a Belgian entrepreneur about plans to keep Holden’s Elizabeth factory open and producing cars beyond its due closure date in 2017.
Christopher Pyne and Jay Weatherill have had meetings with entrepreneur Guido Dumarey to discuss his vision for the plant.
Mr Dumarey has a successful track record in the area having taken over a General Motors plant in Strasbourg, France.
Mr Weatherill said several proposals had been made for the Elizabeth plant, but Mr Dumarey’s represented a good opportunity to keep the car industry alive.
“There’s a growing awareness that the decision to close the car industry is beginning to look like a pretty big mistake,” Mr Weatherill said.
“I think with the low Australian dollar now, I think the circumstances that pertain now, if the decision had been made in this environment I think a very different decision would have been made.
“If this [Mr Dumarey’s plan] stacks up and it’s the best use of the property, from our prospective we will certainty get in behind it,”Mr Weatherill said.
Federal Industry Minister Christopher Pyne told 891 ABC Adelaide he meet with Mr Dumarey about his proposal.
“I’ve engaged closely with him and with General Motors and given him a letter of support from the Commonwealth Government indicating we will do what we can to help him realise his goal,” Mr Pyne said.
Mr Pyne said Mr Dumarey had a “track record” turning factories around.
He said if Mr Dumarey was successful in buying the plant from Holden and produced enough cars, he would be able to access money from the Federal Government’s Automotive Transformation Scheme until 2021.
“As the Industry Minister my propriety is to create jobs and growth, whether it is in South Australia or whether it is anywhere else in the country,” Mr Pyne said.