Victorian Manufacturing Minister David Hodgett has called on the federal government to recommit to the $500 million in car industry assistance it is cutting.
As the SMH reports, Hodgett added that the Abbott government should commit to ten more years of funding and said the Victorian government is prepared to increase its assistance to the sector.
“Make no mistake we will leave no stone unturned to advocate very, very strongly for continued Commonwealth assistance so that [Victoria's] auto industry can continue,” Hodgett told the SMH.
The Premier of the other state which has most to lose from the possible death of the Australian car industry, South Australia’s Jay Weatherill is also increasing pressure on the federal government. He plans to travel to Canberra on Thursday to meet with the Prime Minister.
He told the SMH that Holden boss Mike Devereux "... has given the clearest of possible indication that Holden is not going to close and they want to continue making cars in Australia."
The intense speculation surrounding the car industry's future is having an effect on workers. For example, a former automotive manufacturing worker spoke to the ABC about the anger and uncertainty facing current Holden employees.
Meanwhile, Adelaide Now reports that the Prime Minister's fleet of Holden limos will probably be replaced with bomb and gas proof BMWs.
According to departmental sources, Holden did not show any interest in bidding for the tender.
This claim is disputed by Holden. The company said that that it had formed a partnership with two other companies for the tender.
"Holden is involved in two bids for this work and we would love to see the PM in a Caprice, and we have obviously provided caprice for this purpose before," a spokesman for Holden told Adelaide Now.