Weatherill: Government Response To Holden Closure Pathetic

The South Australian Labor Premier, Jay Weatherill, says the federal government’s response to the Holden closure is pathetic.

Weatherill

Speaking at a press conference today, Weatherill said the package announced today by Prime Minister Tony Abbott was “manifestly inadequate.

Weatherill faces a state election next March that he is most likely to lose, ending 12 years of Labor government.

The Greens also released a statement criticising the Abbott proposal as a “band-aid on an open wound”.

  • Listen to Weatherill’s press conference (19m)

Text of a media release from the Premier of South Australia, Jay Weatherill.

Federal Government response to Holden closure inadequate

Premier Jay Weatherill has described the Federal Government’s proposed response to the closure of Holden as pathetic.

Mr Weatherill said the proposed Federal Government funding of $60m was a fraction of the assistance that was earmarked for Holden.

“It is obvious that it is not enough – but what is particularly disappointing is the lack of empathy for the workers,” Mr Weatherill said.

“The Federal Government doesn’t understand the urgency of responding to this and they don’t seem to care. Their response is pathetic.

“Prime Minister Tony Abbott didn’t speak to Holden workers, didn’t speak to component manufacturers and their workers. He didn’t speak to South Australians.

“This is manifestly inadequate help for workers making a transition into new jobs.”

The package is not available until next financial year and there have been no announcements today on accelerating stalled infrastructure projects.

Mr Weatherill said the reviews are transparently political.

“The Productivity Commission was going to take until the middle of next year to report on just one industry, yet now they say a minister can review the entire South Australian and Victorian economies in less than two months,” he said.

Mr Weatherill said that South Australia would continue to campaign for a better deal.

“I won’t rest until we have the Government response that we need,” he said.

“This will start tomorrow when Automotive Transformation Coordinator Greg Combet and I will meet South Australian component suppliers to discuss the State’s response to Holden’s closure.

“We are finalising a comprehensive response which will address the many and diverse challenges posed to the affected workers and to South Australia.

“I call on the Federal government for a genuine response to this issue of national importance.”

Text of media release from the Australian Greens.

PM Abbott’s Holden fund a band-aid on an open wound

The Australian Greens say the Prime Minister’s announcement of a $100 million fund for Victoria and South Australia is no guarantee of future jobs after the closure of Holden factories.

“The Prime Minister’s fund is a band-aid on a massive wound in the Victorian and South Australian economies,” Greens Leader Christine Milne said.

“This announcement does nothing to counter the fact that the economy will be driven backwards in the south-eastern states when the Prime Minister and Treasurer continue with savage cuts in upcoming budgets.

“Mr Abbott is offering limited dollars with one hand while slashing billions with the other, and hoping workers in Victoria and South Australia won’t notice – but they will.

“The government has shown it has no idea about jobs of the future by trying to abolish the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, which is creating jobs in the very states impacted by the Holden closures. Propping up coal fired power at the expense of renewables, and ongoing cuts to higher education especially in regional universities, will cost even more jobs.

“Continuing to prop up the old fossil fuel economy is a recipe for more job losses. $100 million won’t go anywhere unless the jobs and industries it is targeting are sustainable like electric cars, renewable energy and public transport.

“The government must assist workers to retrain so as to secure jobs in industries of the future and outline what it will do to ensure Toyota and auto component manufacturing survives, including in their trade deal negotiations.”

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