Monday, 23 October 2017
Private Members' Business
I thank the House for this opportunity to make a contribution to this debate. There are a few points I wish to make this evening. Firstly, in talking about what is a very sad occasion, I would like to offer our support and best wishes to all of those workers and their families in Adelaide who have been associated with that plant, sometimes for generations. I want to tell them tonight that we in the Central West have some idea how they feel, because not too long ago we lost Australia's last fridge-making plant in Orange, which saw the departure of 550 direct jobs and probably another couple of hundred of contractors as well. So we have a good understanding of the trauma that those communities are no doubt going through and the uncertain times that have befallen them recently. When we went through this it took a huge community effort to get through, and we're still working through it now, there's no doubt about that. It was a huge effort, especially in the retraining area. Whilst that was really traumatic for us, we managed to get through it because the community came together and we supported each other. So to all of the workers and their families down in Adelaide, our thoughts and our best wishes are with you.
The other thing I want to say is that obviously in my electorate of Calare we have a special interest in Holden because, as other speakers have noted, it's the home of Mount Panorama, where for decades Holden and Ford have battled it out on the mountain, as they did recently. The Holden history is etched into the mountainside from the HK Monaro in 1963 right through to the VF Commodore in 2017. The Holdens have taken line honours in the great race 32 times, more than any other manufacturer, with stars like Larry Perkins, Mark Skaife and nine-time winner, the late Peter Brock, who is still a revered figure in motor racing circles but particularly in our area, the spiritual and indeed physical home of motor racing in Australia. The Holden Dealer Team debuted in 1969. It was the first Australian motor sport team backed by the dealers themselves. I know that the organisers of the Bathurst 1000, the Bathurst Regional Council, Mayor Graeme Hanger and General Manager David Sherley would also like me to express their sadness and their support for those communities in Adelaide who are affected by this closure.
Another group that would like to have their expression of sadness given voice to in this House is the Cudgegong Cruisers of Mudgee. The Cudgegong Cruisers are a motor car club. They have close to 200 members from Mudgee, Gulgong, Kandos and Rylstone. It's a popular local institution. I think a huge proportion of their members have Holdens. These are Holdens of all vintages, which have been restored. We thank the Cudgegong Cruisers for their charity work. They raise a lot of money for charity, but I think they also wished to have their expression of sadness noted on this occasion. I make special mention of the committee: Glenn Box, Gary and Linda Goodman, John and Sue Hodges, Jim and Luene Cottee, Perry and Yvette Fulton, Nathan White and John and Cheryl Stuart. I'm told that John is a Holden man through and through. He owns three Holdens, including a special 1956 Holden FJ, which was manufactured in the year that he was born and gifted to him by his wife and children to celebrate his 50th birthday. John has since restored this vehicle.
To all of those folks in Adelaide, we would like to express our support and best wishes as you go through what is and will be a very difficult time to come. It is the end of an era. It won't quite be the same up on Mount Panorama when we watch the V8 Supercars. This last chapter of Holden is a sad chapter in Australia's history, to see the end of manufacturing of cars, along with so many other manufacturing industries like Electrolux. (Time expired)