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Marshall Budget Cuts Hurt Ex Holden Workers

Tags: Tony Piccolo MP / Building Communities / Local Business


  • By Tony Piccolo
  • Oct 20, 2018
Marshall Budget Cuts Hurt Ex Holden Workers

Local MP Tony Piccolo outside the former Elizabeth site of Holden Manufacturing

Today (Saturday 20th October) marks one year since the closure of the Holden site at Elizabeth, as a result of the Federal Liberal Government driving the industry out of Australia.

Local Member of Parliament, Mr Tony Piccolo, said the closure was a huge blow to the workers at Holden, and in the supply chain, who lost their jobs and livelihood.

“To add insult to injury, the State Liberal Marshall Government has cut vital employment and economy boosting schemes in Northern Adelaide and the Gawler area,” Mr Piccolo said.

“The former state Labor Government, the Amalgamated Metal Workers’ Union and Holden worked hard together to help displaced workers to retrain and transition to new jobs in the region.

“In the 2016-17 State Budget, the former State Labor Government introduced the Job Accelerator Grant scheme which has resulted in almost 10,000 jobs being registered by businesses for filling in a major boost to job growth in State, and in particular, the Gawler and Northern Adelaide region.

In its first budget since it was elected, the State Marshall Liberal Government cut this scheme along with the following investments:


- Northern Connections

- Economic Investment Fund

- Small Business Development Fund

- Food Parks Tenant Attraction Grant program

- SA Early Commercialization Fund

- Automotive Suppliers Diversification program

- Careers Services Program

- Retrenched Workers Program


“These cuts to important employment creating programs will stall the job recovery that was occurring under the former State Labor Government”, Mr Piccolo said.

Mr Piccolo added that the former Liberal Opposition was predicting a massive downfall in employment, which did not occur because of the careful planning and grants schemes that Labor implemented.

“These programs helped Gawler and Northern Adelaide get through the Holden closure by helping employees to retrain and support small business to re-adjust to the new economy,” he said.

“These programs are still needed as other manufacturing industries undergo restructuring because of global pressures.

The Elizabeth plant opened in 1963 and, over the years, produced favourites such as the EH, the Kingswood, Premier, Commodore, Statesman and Ute and in its final year the factory produced 175 cars a day.

Mr Piccolo said that as part of the “Holden family” he was personally aware of the important role the plant has played in the lives of many families, including many 1950’s and 60’s migrants.

“My family arrived in South Australia on 13th March 1963, and the very next day my late father, Raffaele, started work at Holden, and did so, for over 20 years until he retired through poor health,” said Mr Piccolo.

“Holden provided many opportunities, and it is not unusual to find three generations of a family had worked at Holden.

“I still recall the Christmas picnics I attended at Holden as a child.

“Our first family car was a Holden HR Ute and every car I have owned has always been a Holden.

“If my dad were still alive, he would have been heartbroken by the news, as Holden gave our family a fresh start in our new home, Australia,” added Mr Piccolo.


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