GMH To Close Australian Manufacturing Operations In 2017: Official

General Motors has announced that it will discontinue vehicle and engine manufacturing in Australia by the end of 2017, bringing to an end 60 years of making the iconic Holden car.

HoldenThe official announcement from General Motors says it will “transition to a national sales company in Australia and New Zealand”.

The decision will affect approximately 2,900 positions over the next four years, 1,600 in South Australia and 1,300 in Victoria.

The announcement cited the value of the Australian dollar as a chief reason for the decision. “The appreciation of the currency alone means that at the Australian dollar’s peak, making things in Australia was 65 percent more expensive compared to just a decade earlier.”

News of the General Motors decision was announced by the Victorian Premier, Denis Napthine, during Question Time. In Federal Parliament, the Opposition moved a motion criticising the government over the loss of jobs.

Treasurer Joe Hockey accused the Opposition of confected outrage and hypocrisy over Holden’s decision. He said global car manufacturers were moving operations to locations where production costs are cheaper. He pointed out that former Prime Minister Paul Keating, who as Treasurer floated the dollar in 1983, is to address the Labor Caucus tomorrow.

In Parliament yesterday, Hockey made a spirited demand that Holden announce its intentions. His remarks received front page treatment today, as shown below.

Text of a statement from General Motors.

GM to Transition to a National Sales Company in Australia and New Zealand

Company to cease manufacturing in Australia by 2017

GMDETROIT – As part of its ongoing actions to decisively address the performance of its global operations, General Motors today announced it would transition to a national sales company in Australia and New Zealand. The company also said it would discontinue vehicle and engine manufacturing and significantly reduce its engineering operations in Australia by the end of 2017. [Read more…]


When Is A Shift Not A Shift?

A frontpage report in the Financial Review this morning invited readers to believe that union support for Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s leadership was “shifting”.

A closer read showed that a meeting at the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) on Tuesday discussed the Labor leadership but the union leaders remained supportive of Gillard, although conscious that “time is running out”.

Union and political figures have been at pains during the day to dispute the accuracy of the report. They have adamantly denied suggestions of a “shift”.

Perhaps the most reliable take-out from the Financial Review report is the claim that union leaders were concerned about the advent of an Abbott government. Their attitude to the leadership is reflected in their desire to avoid an early election that could result from any attempt to remove Gillard.

Media critics have been quick to jump on the report as further evidence of the media’s preoccupation with leadership at the expense of policy. Others see it as evidence of a shift to the right under the Financial Review’s new editor, Michael Stutchbury.

However, it seems clear that another decision on the Labor leadership is likely over the next few months. What isn’t clear is whether the obstacles to a Rudd revival can be overcome. Moreover, it isn’t clear whether the party has the capacity to change leaders without destroying the government and precipitating an election. [Read more…]


Newspapers Report Pauline Hanson’s Jailing

The jailing of former One Nation leader, Pauline Hanson, has received wide coverage in this morning’s newspapers.

The national daily, The Australian, ran the story in a side column on page one but most other papers led with the story.

Hanson and David Ettridge were sentenced to three years jail in a Brisbane District Court yesterday after a jury found them guilty of electoral fraud.


The Age

SMH

AFR

Aust

Telegraph

Herald Sun

Courier

Advertiser

Mercury

NT


Using The Media: What’s In Today’s Financial Review?

Australian Financial ReviewPolitics is nothing if not a topical subject.

The newspapers, electronic current affairs and internet sites remain an important means of reinforcing knowledge of key political ideas and keeping up-to-date with current events.

This page looks at how an edition of the Australian Financial Review can be of use to students and teachers of Politics. The selection of articles and commentary can be applied to any newspaper on any day. [Read more…]


The Australian Tries Yet Another Editor

June 20, 2012 – In this week of media upheaval, I’ve been chuckling over this 37-year-old article.

It appeared in the Australian Financial Review on June 26, 1975. Note the absence of a by-line.

Financial Review