News State SA News SA close to finalising post-Holden plan

SA close to finalising post-Holden plan

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The South Australian government is close to finalising its plan to overcome the loss of car maker Holden.

The government’s response will centre on five key areas, including retraining and supporting workers set to lose their jobs, supporting component supply companies and accelerating the state’s development of an advanced manufacturing sector.

It will also try to attract new industries and provide support for existing companies to grow, and will demand more financial help from the federal government.

“The impact of Holden’s decision to close starts at Elizabeth but extends well beyond it,” Premier Jay Weatherill said on Monday.

“All of the measures we will take are designed to make sure that we stand by every worker, every street and every suburb affected.”

Last week, the premier met Australia’s leading banks in Sydney to offer reassurance on the resilience of the state’s economy and its ability to cope with Holden’s decision to stop car manufacturing in Australia by the end of 2017.

Mr Weatherill said it was important banks did not abandon car component producers that were looking for finance to restructure their operations.

“What we don’t want is for banks to see `car industry’ next to a particular component supplier and say that we’re not going to lend to them,” he said.

But Mr Weatherill said South Australia’s immediate ability to respond to Holden’s departure was being hampered by the federal government’s attitude to infrastructure funding and other projects before the March 15 state election.

He said there had been “shrieks of silence” to SA’s proposals as the Commonwealth held off making decisions for “tactical reasons”.

“There are a bunch of things which, if I’m in this position after the 15th of March, will all loosen up,” the premier said.

“We fully expect them to spring back into life post-March 15.”