Weatherill to finalise Holden plan

The South Australian government will soon release its plan to deal with the effects of Holden’s decision to stop car manufacturing in the state in 2017.

AAP reports that the government’s plan will focus on five areas. It will retrain and assist sacked workers; support component supply companies; help develop an advanced manufacturing sector in South Australia; seek assistance from the federal government; and attempt to attract new industries to the state.

According to the ABC, the state government also intends to fast-track almost $35 million worth of Government projects to stimulate the economy.

South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill says these will include $12 million in infrastructure projects and $22 million in water projects. Possible fast-tracked projects include roadworks at Golden Grove and Magill and an upgrade to Kingscote’s water supply.

Commenting on his plans, Weatherill told the ABC, “It’s crucial to maintain momentum in the economy. It’s crucial that we send the clearest possible message that the South Australian economy is strong.

“Change is so much harder to achieve in a shrinking economy. People need to make the decisions to gain new skills, to try new things. Businesses need to make investment decisions.”

Weatherill said it was important banks did not abandon car component producers that are seeking finance to restructure their operations. As such, he met with Australia’s leading banks in Sydney last week to talk up the South Australian economy.

He also claimed that there has been a lack of action from the federal government and that the Coalition was waiting until after the March 15 state election to act.