News National Govt expected to announce Holden package

Govt expected to announce Holden package

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The federal government is expected to announce on Wednesday what it plans to do in response to Holden’s decision to stop manufacturing in Australia in 2017.

The car maker’s announcement last week prompted calls for the government to support the thousands of Holden workers affected and address the anticipated flow on impacts to the wider economy.

Labor has been calling for a support package, but Prime Minister Tony Abbott has indicated he doesn’t believe government handouts are the best way to support the struggling industry.

The government on Wednesday is expected to outline what it thinks is the best way forward.

Former Labor industry minister Greg Combet, who was appointed by the South Australian government to be its automotive transformation co-ordinator, says he’ll be trying to save as many jobs as possible.

He was confident South Australia had transitioned adequately away from its reliance on the automotive industry in recent years, but stressed the government would have to help those workers out of a job.

“A very significant package of assistance is necessary for the workers who are affected by this,” he told ABC Radio on Wednesday.

He said many employees had been working for Holden for years and would need “a lot of support” getting back out into the labour market.

The Australian Manufacturers Workers Union has been calling for government money to try and help the local car components industry become internationally competitive.