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Abbott to announce response to Holden departure

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Prime minister Tony Abbott will today detail the government’s assistance package for workers who will lose jobs as a result of last week’s announcement that Holden will stop manufacturing in Australia in 2017.

The ABC and others report that Abbott favours transitioning workers to new jobs where current strengths in communities exist, aiming to keep workers in the manufacturing sector.

The Holden closure will affect 2,900 workers at the company and put great strains on those who supply to car makers. There are roughly 33,000 employed in the component industry.

"There needs to be money made available to try and transition the current car component industry in Australia to make it internationally competitive," said Dave Smith from the AMWU.

As reported yesterday, former federal industry minister Greg Combet has been appointed by the South Australian government to oversee the state’s auto sector’s transformation.

Combet has said that the state had diversified away from car making somewhat, but there was a lot of help needed to assist workers.

''A very significant package of assistance is necessary for the workers who are affected by this,'' he said.

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