Automotive industry needs funding: SA premier

 

South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill says that without funding from both state and federal governments Holden may shut down its production plant in Elizabeth.

As the ABC reports, the federal opposition plans to cut $500 million of car industry funding if it wins the federal election in September.

Holden announced a $152.8 million loss this week and it plans to cut 400 jobs from the plant.

Weatherill says that the Coalitions planned cut in assistance will put the future of the plant at risk.

"The South Australian Government is committed to the current investment. What we need is a willing Commonwealth partner," he said.

"The current Federal Government is committed. What we need to know is whether Tony Abbott's Liberals will be committed to a future for Holden should they form a government after September.

"If they get their way, there will be no deal with Holden about their future and therefore Holden will close."

Following the announcement of the job cuts, the South Australian government has been in talks with Holden. The two parties have not yet reached a new deal with the company over a disputed $50m state subsidy.

According to the Australian, only 120 workers are believed to have sought separation packages which they had been offered. As such, forced redundancies may be necessary.

Speaking to the ABC, Secretary of the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union, John Camillo said, "We want Holden to let us know how many production workers they're looking at, how many people from trade, how many people from the white collar area and so on, but also it gives us a chance to know how many people are taking a VSP, because if Holden don't get the 400 they require then seriously the unions and the company need to sit down and work out how we go forward."