Northern Adelaide forum discusses post-Holden future

Dozens of businesses attended an engagement forum at Elizabeth yesterday and discussed the region’s industrial future, which faces difficulties such as the end of manufacturing at Holden in 2017 and the shipbuilding “valley of death”.

Simon Kennedy, director of Adelaide Ship Construction International, said there was “a world of pain” being deal with by those in the industry.

Kennedy’s company recently put in a last-minute bid – partnering with Kellogg Brown & Root and Singapore Technologies Marine – for the $1 billion Pacific patrol boat tender. He hopes a successful bid would lead to 150 new jobs, help rebuild shipbuilding in Port Adelaide, and lead to further submarine work.

"[Pacific patrol boats] would be a five or six-year program, employ 100-150 people and I think would be perfectly suited to taking on any additional submarine work when the submarines are built in Australia," he told the ABC.

The forum heard that the state’s small and medium businesses had to rise to the difficult occasion.

"We in South Australia can't just rely on a big international corporation to be our white knight. Those days are gone," offered Playford’s mayor, Glenn Docherty.