More needed to counter SA job losses from Holden closure: research

Research by the Australian Workplace Innovation and Social
Research Centre has found a third of businesses around Holden’s Elizabeth plant
at risk of closure due to the impact of the car maker ending its Australian
manufacturing.

The ABC reports that it is first detailed survey since Holden announced in December that it would end its Australian car assembly operations
in 2017.

Impact of the auto industry closure collected responses from over 450 northern Adelaide
businesses. It found a third of these expected an impact on their future
viability, and about four tenth of businesses expected to have to lay off
employees.

The report states that the impact is expected to be
particularly pronounced in the suburb of Playford, with 45 per cent of
employers expecting to have to cut jobs.

Associate Professor John Spoehr said that the report was
evidence that more needed by government to mitigate the effects of Holden’s
shutdown.

The findings
were “a bit like the proverbial canary in the coalmine,”
Spoehr told the ABC.

“That it’s a warning that, unless we take action
there could be some serious consequences of inaction.”

The federal government has allocated $100 million
to assist with the transition of the country’s economy away from auto
manufacturing.

Spoehr said $1 billion over the next five years
would be necessary.

The CEO of Business SA, Nigel McBride, said the social
impacts on an already stressed area needed to be considered.

“This is certainly a bigger, more holistic
problem than simply business closure, because that will trigger a domino effect
in all of these other areas,” he told the ABC.

Image: drive.com.au