News National No decision made on Holden yet: GM
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No decision made on Holden yet: GM

Mike Devereux
AAP
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NO decision has been made on the future of Holden in Australia, Holden boss Mike Devereux has told the Productivity Commission inquiry into the auto industry.

The comments follow speculation the car manufacturer would announce it was shutting down Australian manufacturing operations at its submission.

“This industry is an important part of the economy,” Mr Devereux said in Melbourne in Tuesday.

“Hopefully through my testimony today I can continue to make that case.”

The federal government is considering whether to provide a new line of assistance to Holden or let the market take its course as it did when Mitsubishi closed in 2008.

Mr Devereux would not speculate on a timeline for the decision.

A senior Coalition source said earlier that Holden would have put in a bid for more government assistance by now if it was serious about staying in Australia.

Competing views within the Federal Government over car industry assistance have emerged since the ABC revealed senior ministers believed a decision had been made for Holden to exit Australia.

Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane, who has indicated he wants to give the industry more money, quickly refuted the claims, saying Holden has assured him no decision has been made.

But a senior Coalition source argues the company does not want to be saved and has told the ABC it would have made a bid for more money by now if it wanted to stay.

However, Government sources do not believe the company will reveal whether it intends to close its doors.

Labor’s industry spokesman Kim Carr says he knows from his time in government that Holden would stay if it received an extra $150 million a year.

Mr Macfarlane says Labor are trying to scare car industry workers over the prospect of Holden closing down in Australia.

“Do we support Holden remaining in Australia? Absolutely. Are we doing something about it? Absolutely,” he said.

“What’s the Labor Party doing? They’ve imposed the carbon tax, which they’re now refusing to take off.

“If they want to keep Holden here… they should take the carbon tax off today.”

But Treasurer Joe Hockey told Parliament the future of Holden depended on its ability to sell cars.

“The future of the car industry is in the hands of the car industry,” he said

“From 2015 onwards we committed $1 billion to help the car industry, but ultimately the thing that’s most going to help the Australian motor vehicle industry is for Australians to buy their cars.”