Holden will close in Australia by the end of 2017, it was finally announced today. This confirms last week’s news about the decision they did not want to announce then and was it inevitable. Increasing costs (like wages and electricity costs increasing when the carbon tax came in), the high dollar, plus consumers voting with their money by forgoing the poorer quality, overpriced local cars and purchasing foreign cars with more features instead are all reasons for Holden’s demise.
As I have previously said here and in Facebook, this is why some Holden dealerships started rebuilding their show rooms this year. They could see it coming and knew that they will sell Chevrolet imports built in the new Chinese factory. Indeed, the Chevrolet spare parts, servicing and repair industry might take in some of the Holden workers. But the rest will find it really difficult to get work in Adelaide where this is a distinct lack of industry diversity.
The next big boom in this state will be Job Service Providers through Centrelink. I hope that those who can afford to move interstate do so because there will be nothing here for the next 5 – 10 years at least and Job Services Providers will do nothing for workers and just take taxpayer funds in exchange so they themselves keep off the dole.
Federal Labor presided over all of this before Abbott, who is getting the blame, came in. However, business is business and General Motors and Holden have made the right choice for them. This will kickstart to an extent the economic transformation that Adelaide urgently and desperately needs. But it will take years. I have repeatedly said here that people need to start making the transition now. If they need training then get it if they can. Go interstate for better work if possible. Manufacturers need to try to expand into other areas if they can afford to.
Locals have between 2014 to 2017 to get started. Australia’s economy used to be built on agriculture. Then Keating lowered tariffs in the 1980s before his “banana republic” comment and imported cars took off here. We cannot rely on mining and manufacturing anymore. The economy has changed since the 1970s and 1980s and we need to transform it and we need to try to make it happen now. In Adelaide, that does not mean property development as the sole way of getting rich and giving the state government the tax revenue it is looking for.
It is now well and truly time for the federal Libs to give South Australia the GST money we have been robbed of over the years. Then Weatherill can stop sitting on his hands and spend it on getting what needs to be done here actually done!