Acting Prime Minister Warren Truss has just announced in Parliament announced that Holden will cease operations in 2017. It is a huge blow, the ramifications of which are yet to be fully considered. But they will be felt by the community. And hard. Amid claims that it’s Labor’s fault anyway, Mr Truss heroically assures us that:
. . . the government stood ready to assist sacked workers and to support dealers and employees.
I’m wondering if he ran that by Tony. We should remember these recent words from The Australian:
The ball is now in Tony Abbott’s court. If he reverses his $500 million cut to industry support, and commits to continuing to support it, Holden will stay. If he refuses to do that, Holden will go. The choice could not be clearer.
Now I’m very pleased that he’s in South Africa attending the funeral of Nelson Mandela. He can now come back to Holden’s funeral.
Perhaps the $500 million cut to industry support can now be spared “to assist sacked workers and to support dealers and employees“. Or perhaps he might do one of Howard’s old tricks and introduce a levy, in which case the tax payers will be supporting the sacked workers and dealers. We will have to wait and see.
Either way, I don’t believe Abbott, Truss or anybody when they sort of say; “Don’t worry. The Government is here to assist you”.
They missed their chance.