House debates

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Constituency Statements

Wakefield Electorate: Holden

4:18 pm

Photo of Nick ChampionNick Champion (Wakefield, Australian Labor Party) Share this | Hansard source

On 13 January this year Holden announced their closure date of 20 October. While we expected a date to be announced, these announcements are always shocking to those in the local community and to the workforce. I want to make a few observations in a nonpartisan way. We have to remember that 30,000 vehicles will be built before manufacturing at the plant ends. That is a massive tribute to the workforce at Holden, who have been subject on more than one occasion to comments in this parliament and in newspapers about their work ethic and their professionalism.

One of the things I want to report to the House is that, at the moment, the Holden Elizabeth operation is achieving a 96 per cent right-first-time quality rate, which puts it in the top five per cent of General Motors manufacturing plants around the world—the top five per cent globally. This is a tribute to the workforce of Elizabeth, to their professionalism, to their work ethic and to their commitment to the brand. I have to say that I am terribly proud of them, and Australia should be too.

One of the saddest things you have to do as a local member is assist people through times of redundancy. I have done it as a union official and as a local member. I have been down to the Holden Transition Centre, which, somewhat ironically, is in the old employment office where I and others used to go to apply for a job at Holden. I was unsuccessful, but many of my mates were not. The transition centre is helping workers as they leave the plant. I thank Ashley Winnett, Jamie Getgood, Sally Renshaw, Toni Frost and the rest of the transition team for their efforts, because 70 per cent of employees who have left Holden have been successful in gaining employment within 12 months of leaving. That is a very good figure. The transition centre is doing all it can to nurse people—to help people—through what is one of the most traumatic things that anybody can go through: a period of redundancy.

I wish them continued good luck in finding the Holden workforce work. We know it will get more difficult as time gets on. We know that the government needs to respond more fully to the enormous dislocation that is going to go on in the South Australian, Victorian and national economies as these workers find themselves unemployed. I commend to the House the idea that the government should be more fully involved. (Time expired)


Gill Caunce
Posted on 8 Feb 2017 12:00 pm (Report this comment)

What a great tribute to the Holden's workforce, and what a tragedy that the present government chose not to support the continuation of Holdens and the hugely beneficial flow-on effects to the Australian economy.

Posted on 8 Feb 2017 2:19 pm (Report this comment)

Gill is correct it is a tragedy.

State Government should have compulsorily acquired the land and all assets, trademarks, and copyrights with NO COMPENSATION. Stop the registration of all new GM vehicles or make the registration so expensive that no rational person would buy a GM vehicle again. $10,000 Per annum registration for a Chev.
2) Federal Government should have Barred all current GMH Directors and Managers from holding Directorships or Managerial positions in any Australian Company.

3) If currently a Director of another Company ban that company from Australian Government tenders or remove limited liability for any company that ever employs GMH managers

If they had done this to Holden Ford and Toyota and offered Nissan rights to all of these assets belonging to Ford, GMH and Toyota we would still have a car industry.

Criteria should be "Australian Interests First" Put American and Japanese interests below Australian Interests. We need to recognize that GMH as well as Fords and Toyota have declared economic warfare on Australia and we need to retaliate, not just sit and say OK Bwana. The Director's and managers of GMH need to know that they have no future other than as a dole recipient in Australia.

Liberals at least have the defence that this the current situation is their desired outcome. Why the hell is it needing Bob Katter and Nick Xenophon to stand up for the Australian Worker where the hell is ALP.
If Federal Government is too gutless to come to the party State Governments should dig up the road outside of every Car Dealer we are at Economic War with.

Andrew Jackson

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