SA adviser suggests “mini-World Bank” to support state’s R&D

The wrong response to Holden’s factory closures in 2017 could tip South Australia into recession, warned the state’s top economic adviser.

The wrong
response to Holden’ factory closures in 2017 could tip South Australia into
recession, warned the state’s top economic adviser, who also suggested a “mini-World
Bank” to support R&D.

The
Australian
reports that Raymond Spencer, SA’s Economic Development Board
chairman, cautioned against a “lackadaisical” response to Holden’s decision to cease manufacturing,
as the state formulates its recommendations to the car maker’s departure. This will be
handed down to the federal government by February.

“We
are positioned to work our way through this, but if we are lackadaisical, if we
don’t sense the urgency of it, if we don’t make changes to some of our policies
and processes and so on, yes it could (cause recession),” Spencer said,
according to The Australian.

He
said that handouts would be inappropriate, though a “mini-World Bank” with
funds of $200 million could help support R&D as the state shifts away from
traditional, low-tech manufacturing.

 “That could then be used like a little
mini-World Bank,” he said, “for creative financing and support, particularly
for existing businesses that demonstrate the greatest capacity to grow their
businesses through export and with that grow jobs,”

Yesterday
SA premier Jay Weatherill said that discussions MPs had had with Holden employees
had heard the workers were “imprisoned by uncertainty” regarding their
short-term futures, and highly stressed.

“What they’re worried about is their future,” he said,
according to News Corp.

“Those worries are
manifesting in real concerns now. Not in four years time but now… They are,
in fact, imprisoned by uncertainty.”