South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill is losing patience with the “dillydallying” over Holden’s future as the car manufacturer’s workers worry that the plant tour which happened last week only brought about further delay and uncertainty.
According to a report from The Daily Telegraph Mr. Weatherill said he has “grave” fears for the future of the South Australian automotive industry if policies were left to be determined by the Productivity Commission.
“I don’t think if we’re relying on the Productivity Commission we’re going to have any further co-investment with Holden,” he said.
“The ball is in the Federal Government’s court. I think it’s a bit much for people to be dillydallying about making decisions of this sort.”
Mr. Weatherill said space is already being given to the Federal Government to think about the decision because they are new, but the process is not going to be an endless one.
“We need an answer soon so that those workers and their families know where they’re going, so the South Australian economy knows where it’s going.”
Meanwhile Federal Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane is reportedly visiting the Toyota and Ford factories interstate this week after last week’s tour of Holden’s Elizabeth facility.
A decision regarding Holden’s future was supposedly due in December but now a Productivity Commission report is pending. The terms of reference could be submitted to Cabinet processes as early as this week, according to The Daily Telegraph, but a final and full report may not be delivered until next year.
Reporter Jayne Stinson said according to Minister Macfarlane’s office, a typical Productivity Commission takes about six months to complete and he was very clear that he will not proceed without the findings from that report which has not even started yet.
While it is possible that it could take until March for a decision to be reached, several leaders remain optimistic about the future of car manufacturing.
“I would like to see a resolution as quickly as possible so that we can give some certainty to the people that work at Holden and live in the immediate environs,” said Opposition Leader Steven Marshall.
“The Productivity Commission has huge expertise in this area, they’ve come up with a plan for this sector in the past that has worked and I have every faith that they’ll do this again.”
Meanwhile Independent Senator Nick Xenophon said he’s counting on Minister Macfarlane to get the job done.
“I’m hopeful that Ian Macfarlane will pull this off because if he can’t, I don’t think anyone can,” he said.