Labor figures claim Holden can still be saved

Labor’s former industry minister Kim Carr and South Australian Premier Jay Wetherill both say Holden can be saved if the Coalition Government commits to further assistance for the car industry.

Carr told the ABC that an extra $150 million a year would be enough to save Holden and an extra $300 million a year would save the whole auto manufacturing industry.

“For $300 million a year, Holden, Toyota and 160 component manufacturing companies plus all the suppliers that flow from there can be preserved but the Government does not want to face up to its responsibilities,” he told Newsradio.

According to Carr, these figures come from documents drafted by senior officials in the Department of Innovation before September’s Federal election.

Meanwhile, Wetherill told Sky News that “the future of Holden is in the hands of the prime minister.”

He called reports from Government ministers that Holden’s parent company General Motors has already made its decision to cease production in Australia “blame shifting” and said the government should commit to the $500 million it plans to cut in automotive sector subsidies.

AAP reports that Coalition MP Josh Frydenberg, a parliamentary secretary to the prime minister, said it is right for governments to assist industry but there must be limits imposed on such help.

“We cannot use the taxpayer as an ATM for the car industry,” he told Sky News.