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Wednesday, 20 October 2010
Page: 1029


Mr ZAPPIA (9:58 AM) —Last Wednesday, 13 October, I and the member for Wakefield attended the commissioning of the new Holden Cruze production line at the GMH plant at Elizabeth. The new production line was switched on by Minister Kim Carr and South Australian Deputy Premier Kevin Foley in the presence of GMH CEO Mike Devereux, Elizabeth plant manager, Martyn Cray and Holden employees, many of whom were personally associated with designing and building the new production line.

The commissioning of the new line was a great day for South Australia, particularly for the people whose futures depend on GMH’s future in South Australia. For several years, particularly since the closure of the Mitsubishi plant in Adelaide, GMH’s future in Adelaide has been a frequent topic of public discussion and negative commentary by doomsayers. The Elizabeth plant has so far proved the critics wrong, which is testimony to the resilience and commitment of all associated with it.

We saw evidence of that commitment over the last 18 months when production at the plant slumped during the global economic downturn and the workforce rostered themselves and effectively shared the hours of work available rather than see fellow workers retrenched. What makes the new production line exceptional is that the planning and necessary investment required was made in the midst of a global economic downturn when motor vehicle assembly plants around the world were scaling down operations and cutting costs.

The new Holden Cruze, which will be manufactured at the plant, is an impressively designed car and I expect it will become a market leader. For much of the workforce, the new line means a return to full-time employment. A combination of full-time employment with increased production at the Elizabeth plant will add a massive boost to the local economy in which Holden has for decades been a key economic driver.

I take this opportunity to acknowledge and thank Senator Kim Carr for his personal commitment to the automotive industry in Australia. The federal government’s $140 million support obviously was crucial to GMH’s decision and that support was very much driven by Senator Carr’s belief in GMH and his belief in Australian manufacturing. The demise of GMH’s Elizabeth plant would have been devastating for northern Adelaide and the Gillard government recognised that. On behalf of the families, many of whom live in the Makin electorate and in the member for Wakefield’s electorate, who are employed at the Elizabeth plant, I express my appreciation to the government and to GMH for their continued faith and investment in the Elizabeth plant.


The DEPUTY SPEAKER (Hon. Peter Slipper)—Order! In accordance with standing order 193 the time for constituency statements has concluded.