Victorian Premier Denis Napthine will chair a statewide automotive industry roundtable next Wednesday to discuss and make plans for the next steps following General Motors’ decision to shut down Holden’s Australian manufacturing operations by 2017.
In a statement Mr Napthine said the Victorian Coalition will focus first on helping the workers and their families from both the automotive and components sectors who have been impacted by the car maker’s decision.
“As part of the Coalition Government’s response to this decision, I will be chairing a Victorian automotive industry roundtable this coming Wednesday,” Dr Napthine said.
“Our focus is first and foremost on the actions we need to take to support Victorian workers and their families in order to ensure they have choices and opportunities as they deal with this transition.”
The roundtable discussion will consist of representatives coming from key industry stakeholders including the car manufacturers, members of the components industry, the engineering sector, unions, employer groups, skills sector, Senior Ministers from the Victorian Coalition Government and the local government.
Mr Napthine said the State has a strong and robust economy that puts it in a good position to take advantage of the Asian Century through food production, the financial sector, the biotechnology industry and the advanced manufacturing businesses.
“The roundtable will discuss what is required for a comprehensive transition and assistance package following GMH’s decision and how to help Victorian workers and businesses take full advantage of the opportunities for new jobs and investments in the future.”
“The roundtable will provide the opportunity for all stakeholders to further inform the Coalition Government about the impacts of the GMH announcement on the Victorian economy,” Dr Napthine said.
GM Chairman and CEO Dan Akerson said their decision to end manufacturing in Australia reflects the impact of the “negative influences” that have beset the country’s automotive industry. These influences include the strong currency, high cost of production, small domestic market, and Australia having the most competitive and fragmented auto market in the world.
Approximately 1,300 jobs will be lost from Holden’s Victorian workforce, while 1,600 will be going from the company’s Elizabeth plant in South Australia.