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Wednesday, 12 February 2014
Page: 210

Mr KELVIN THOMSON (Wills) (13:48): I was astonished to read that the South Australian Liberal Party's bright idea for responding to the impending closure of General Motors Holden is to increase migration into South Australia and even more astonished to read that the Prime Minister is supportive of the idea, talking about giving South Australia special migration rules. The last thing any community or economy suffering from rising unemployment needs is population growth. How are the Holden workers who will be displaced to get other jobs if new workers, who are in all likelihood happy to work for low pay and conditions, are being brought into the state? This is a recipe for ferocious competition for lower paid jobs and for long-term unemployment, where older workers who lose their jobs are never able to find secure work again. Some people say that an ageing population, an ageing workforce, is a bad thing, but it is good news for the Holden workers because, as older workers retire, it means that there are jobs that they can apply for. We should let population and workforce ageing open up opportunities for workers who are going to lose their jobs.

Let me conclude by noting that Dick Smith said to me some years ago that Adelaide was just about his favourite city, because it had the right scale, not too big. It is a city you can easily get around, not bedevilled by the traffic congestion and high-rise anonymity of the bigger cities. Long may Adelaide remain a city that you can enjoy living and working in.