Combet quits as chair of SA Automotive Transformation Taskforce

Former federal MP Greg Combet has quit his role as chair of the South Australian Automotive Transformation Taskforce after two-and-a-half years to work as a defence industry lobbyist.

Combet, who was industry minister from December 2011 to July 2013 in the former Labor federal government, cited family reasons in his decision. His new role will include lobbying for naval shipbuilding work in Victoria.

"I used to be a defence materiel and defence contracting minister so I'm obviously interested in that industry but I've obviously got my three kids living in Melbourne so there's a mixture of professional and personal reasons for accepting the job in Victoria," the ABC reports him as saying.

The SA government said it was seeking Combet’s replacement in the role, which he took up as part of the state government’s response to Holden’s late-2013 announcement it would close its Elizabeth factory. The car maker will end Australian manufacturing next year.

Combet retired as MP for the seat of Charlton before the September 2013 election.