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Holden shutdown could cost 13,000 jobs in SA

Editorial
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The economic contribution made by General Motors Holden to South Australia has lessened since 2011 according to research by two economists, but a shutdown would still come at the price of up to $1.2 billion and 13,000 jobs.

Associate Professor John Spoehr and Professor Barry Burgan from Adelaide University have updated their 2011 report, finding that the worst case scenario of Holden ceasing to manufacture in South Australia would be less than when they composed their initial analysis.

The Advertiser reports that the pair have calculated that a shutdown would cost between $350 and $1.2 billion (compared to $1.5 billion in their 2011 calculations), between 4,300 and 13,000 jobs at Holden and its suppliers (down from 6,000 – 13,000) and between $20 and $70 million in lost tax revenues for the state.

In terms of jobs, Burgan said these would likely be at the higher end of the prediction, and would depend on how well suppliers were able to adapt.

"The upper end is based on an assumption that if Holden work went, the business would no longer be viable and ... they would shut down,” he said.

"The indications given to me are all that it's toward the higher end."

Elsewhere, Spoehr has said that the state would not handle Holden’s closure as well as it did Mitsubishi’s.

“The South Australian economy is less robust than it was when Mitsubishi closed its operations back in 2008, so the 400 people who lose their jobs over coming months will find it more difficult to find work than their colleagues,” he wrote in the Adelaide Review in May.

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