SA government wants $333 million to deal with Holden closure

The South Australian government wants $333 million from the federal government to help the state cope with Holden’s decision to close its manufacturing operations in 2017.

AAP reports that the state government has released a comprehensive plan including 14 programs which will need to be funded mainly by the Commonwealth. The state government itself would contribute just $60 million to the plan over four years.

Releasing the plan on Tuesday, South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill said that the plan was aimed at securing the futures of the 13,000 South Australian workers whose jobs are threatened by the Holden decision.

Weatherill told journalists, “Now is not the time to cut and run. Now is the time to step up and work together.”

Describing the proposed Commonwealth contribution as modest, he added, “They’re saving the $500 million from the current stage of the Automotive Transformation Scheme and the $250 million by not having to invest in new platforms and a conservative proportion of the future ATS funding that would have been dedicated to Holden and its suppliers.

“We’re going to get cracking with this plan with or without them.”

According to the ABC, unions, businesses, banks and welfare groups were involved in formulating the plan.

However, as the Australian reports, Federal Industry minister Ian Macfarlane suggested that the federal government may not accept the South Australian plan.

“The Australian government is taking a methodical, considered and informed approach to mapping the future of manufacturing in South Australia, in contrast to the blatant made-for-TV politicking and grandstanding by the South Australian Premier,” he said

“The Australian government is focused on laying the foundations for the long term future of South Australian manufacturing, not on applying short-term solutions or taxpayer-funded Band-Aids.”

The South Australian plan also includes bringing forward high-priority infrastructure projects, such as the Torrens to Torrens and Darlington interchange upgrades in Adelaide, and upgrading the main access road into the APY Lands.

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