Former federal minister Greg Combet has been appointed by the South Australian government to help plan a response to Holden’s departure in 2017.
The ABC reports that Combet, who was the federal industry minister between December 2011 and July 2013 and member for Charlton, was recruited to oversee state assistance to worker at the car maker as it winds down its manufacturing operations.
“He has the confidence of the Abbott Government, he certainly has my confidence and he’s a friend of South Australia,” SA premier Jay Weatherill told the ABC.
The role pays approximately $160,000 annually, according to the report.
The former minister was also recruited this month by federal industryminister Ian Macfarlane to be part of a panel advising on SPC Ardmona’s canningoperations. He is also on The SA Advanced Manufacturing Council board.
The SA opposition said it was not going to play politics over announcement of Combet to the auto industry assistance position, and was happy to see what could be achieved.
The AMWU’s John Camillo said the role would be important in helping sacked Holden employees find meaningful work, “To make sure that when people are trained that they’re trained or re-educated to a job that’s out there, and not a bullshit job or a make-believe job,” he said.
Combet retired from politics ahead of the September federal election.