Govt critical of Holden silence on manufacturing plans

The tension between the federal government and GM Holden  has increased, with the Coalition urging the car maker to state whether or not it will continue manufacturing in Australia.

Managing director Mike Devereux told the Productivity Commission yesterday that no decision had been made by parent company General Motors to close Holden’s factories.

Truss said he’d written Devereux, saying, “Your comments merely confirmed that a decision to end manufacturing in Australia remains a live option and has not been ruled out.”

Truss has claimed that the decision had already been made, with The Australian Financial Reviewreporting that the acting PM has accused the car maker of just looking for cover when it announces the decision.

Treasurer Joe Hockey yesterday told Parliament that other industries would love to have the level of support that the automotive sector receives.

Hockey also said that Labor had the responsibility to tell its “union mates” at the AMWU to accept a cost-cutting deal with workers to help Toyota stay afloat.

Shadow industry minister Kim Carr has accused the government of dishonesty and of creating problems by hectoring and leaking details of conversations between ministers and the car company.

“They have known for months what the requirements are,” said Carr.

“This is not about immediate action, this is about the future investment plans post 2016."

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