Talks continue between Holden and the federal government amid
claims from senior ministers the car manufacturer will pull
out of Australia from 2016.
An ABC report last night that senior ministers believe the
company will cease local production from 2016 was quickly
followed by a Holden statement saying its discussions with
government were continuing.
Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane and Opposition Industry
spokesman Kim Carr also issued statements denying a decision
had been made.
Mr Macfarlane met Holden officials yesterday and his office
said talks were continuing as they had been.
"They haven't made a decision about their future in
Australia," Mr Macfarlane's spokeswoman Kylie Barron said.
"There is no change."
Senator Carr urged the government to act to ensure the
company would continue its Australian manufacturing
"I frankly cannot understand why they haven't had a
delegation to Detroit by now to discuss these questions with
the global leadership of General Motors," Senator Carr said.
The speculation came as the productivity commission continues
an inquiry into the future of the car industry that is
expected to determine Holden's future.
If the commission sides with continued government help, the
commonwealth is likely to negotiate a new assistance package.
But if it recommends against ongoing funding, Holden is
likely to follow Ford and close its assembly facilities.
In a submission to the inquiry, Holden said a long-term
Australian policy that was globally competitive was needed to
keeping its manufacturing alive in the country.
"Without public assistance, Holden's local manufacturing
cannot compete globally," the submission said.
Preliminary findings are expected to be released on December
20 with a final report due by March 31.