South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill says that the auto manufacturing industry should be given further government assistance to ensure Australia has a diverse and strong economy.
As AAP reports, Wetherill attended the first day of the Productivity Commission inquiry into the future of automotive industry funding and told the inquiry that a draft report should be delivered so important decisions can be made.
He said that Holden and other manufacturers in the wider sector need to be able to decide on their future.
However, there are currently no plans to deliver a draft report and the Federal Government has said that car manufacturers will have to wait until the Commission reported early next before they find out about future government support.
Following his appearance, Wetherill told reporters, "It's about what sort of nation you want."
"Do you want to be a nation that just digs things up and sticks it in containers or do you want to add value to it because that's the means by which we actually distribute income in this nation?
"It's the way we all get to share in the prosperity that actually comes from our natural resources."
The inquiry also heard submissions from the AMWU, industry body the Australian Automotive Aftermarket Association (AAAA), manufacturing industry expert Professor Goran Roos, and Academics from the Workplace Innovation and Social Research Centre of Adelaide University yesterday.
In his presentation, AAAA Executive Director Stuart Charity said the discussion is not just about making cars and the parts used to build them. He said that there is a massive automotive industry outside of the pyramid of car makers and their direct suppliers.
He added that the final decision on funding must also consider these businesses and their workers.