Tony Abbott attends manufacturing talks in Adelaide

Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane attended a meeting with industry groups in Adelaide yesterday to discuss the South Australian manufacturing sector.

AAP reports that the talks dealt with the government’s planned response to Holden’s decision to stop making cars in Australia in 2017. Holden also has a manufacturing plant in Victoria and similar talks were held in Melbourne in January.

Mr Abbott unveiled a $100 million assistance package in December. This figure would include $60 million from the federal government, about $12 million each from the Victorian and South Australian governments, as well as $20 million from Holden.

Following yesterday’s meeting he said that he wants to finalise the plan with the two states by the end of this month and would like to make an announcement on the final plan soon after that.

The government’s $100 million package falls well short of the $333 million that South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill is seeking from the federal government.

However, Mr Abbott described the $60 million as “a perfectly reasonable amount of money.”

Referring to projects like the $500 million upgrading South Road at Darlington and major defence projects, he added, “We are going to spend a lot of money in South Australia over the next few years.”