Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Speech to GM Holden, Canberra



Download PDFDownload PDF

Speec hto GM Holden, Canb erra

THU 22 MARCH 2012

Prime Minister

Holden has been a proud part of our nation' s story for more than a century. It' s an Australian icon. B ut the truth is in J anuary this year we were at real risk that there would be no more Holden in Australia, that we wouldn' t have Holden here producing motor vehicles. Now that wasn' t acceptable to me as Prime Minister and it wasn' t the right thing for the nation' s future. It would have been a knock-out blow for manufacturing in this country given the importance of the auto industry to all of manufacturing.

So, I' m pleased to be here today with the Premier, with Minister Combet, with Holden and Mike, to announce some good news. And the good news is that the future of General Motors is now secure in this country for the next decade.

Holden will be here in Australia producing cars for at least the next 10 years. That' s great news. And it' s as a result of a more than $1 billion co-investment between the Federal Government, the South Australian Government, the Victorian Government and of course Holden, which is investing strongly in the future of manufacturing Holden cars here in Australia.

So this is a great day for Australian car-making, to be able to announce that Holden will be here for the next decade and we' ve been able to secure that by working together. B ut I also want to say it' s a good day for smart policy, because it is smart policy to ensure that we shape the future, that it' s not shaped around us. And the high Australian dollar, the aftermath of the global financial crisis, current global economic circumstances could have shaped the future for us and that future would have been one without Holden in this country.

Instead of letting the future be shaped, we' ve taken the active decisions to make sure we determine what the future is. And that future will be one in which Holden continues to make cars here. It will be a future of more innovation. It will be a future of high-skill, high-value manufacturing and as a result of this co-investment, we' ll see two new Holden vehicles generated here. Next-generation vehicles which are cleaner and greener than the Holdens of the past. They' ll be smart, clean cars but the most important thing here today is they will have on them "Made in Australia." They will have been made right here.

This is a co-investment in every sense of the word. B etween the Federal, South Australian and Victorian Governments, we are making an investment of $275 million. That joins with a more than billion-dollar investment from Holden to secure the future and because of the multiplier effect of making cars in this country, Holden' s estimate is that that will generate more than $4 billion of value to the Australian economy.

This is truly a strategic co-investment not a handout. And if anybody has any doubt about the importance of the car industry to our country and to manufacturing, I suggest that they talk to the people from Holden who are here today. The people who represent the highly skilled workforce at Holden, the people who make these great cars. And they’ll be able to tell you about the high skills that are generated in the car industry, they will be able to tell you about the importance of car making to thousands of jobs in car component companies all across the supply chain and they' ll be able to tell you too about the importance of those skills to other manufacturing enterprises.

This is an industry that employs more than 50,000 people. It' s central to the jobs of 200,000 others. That means that it' s a vital component of our economy and it' s a crucible of new skills and new technologies.

Now we live in what is a tough global environment with a strong Australian dollar ,and that means we' re in a time of change and a time of transformation. What this announcement proves today is during that time of transformation we can be a country that successfully manufactures right here. We can be a country that seiz es the opportunity that is going to flow from what I have called the Asian Century, a century in which we will see spectacular growth in our region and new opportunities for the Australian economy.

So I' d like to thank Mike for the work that we' ve been able to do with Holden to secure today' s announcement. I' d like to thank Ministers Combet and Carr for their work on today' s announcement. I' d like to thank Ian J ones too and the union representatives who are here, people who represent a highly skilled workforce who have wanted to work with us to secure the future, and Premier Weatherill, thank you for playing your part and I' d like to acknowledge too the contribution of the Victorian Government.

Thank you very much.

Page 1 of 1 Speech to GM Holden,Canberra | Prime Minister of Australia

24/10/2012 http://www.pm.gov.au/press-office/speech-gm-holden-canberra