Automotive Industry

The Hon. D.W. RIDGWAY (Leader of the Opposition) ( 14:19 :47 ): I seek leave to make a brief explanation before asking the Minister for—

The Hon. I.K. Hunter interjecting:

The Hon. D.W. RIDGWAY: Oh, come on! What's a few minutes between friends?

The Hon. I.K. Hunter: What? You don't like things done properly, David? Clearly not.

The Hon. D.W. RIDGWAY: Well, you ought to talk about things being done properly.

The Hon. J.M.A. Lensink: You're scared of question time.

The Hon. D.W. RIDGWAY: He is scared. 'Chicken Little', they call him. I seek leave to make a brief explanation before asking the Minister for Automotive Transformation a question about automotive transformation.

Leave granted.

The Hon. D.W. RIDGWAY: As part of the state government's Our Jobs Plan, it identified 33 direct suppliers to General Motors Holden and some 700 indirect suppliers that would be impacted by the pending exit of General Motors Holden by 2017. The state government, along with successive federal Labor and Liberal governments, has sought to assist these component suppliers in making adjustments post the GMH environment.

One program being funded and administered by the state government is the Automotive Supplier Diversification Program, which provides $11.65 million in funding to assist suppliers to diversify beyond the General Motors Holden supply chains. While we acknowledge the role played by everybody in supporting businesses and making this adjustment, I note the state government has invested a great deal of both taxpayers' money and energy in attacking the federal government over its support for this diversification process. My questions—

The Hon. G.E. Gago: Shame on you!

The Hon. D.W. RIDGWAY: —are not to you. My questions are to—

The Hon. G.E. Gago: Shame on you!

The PRESIDENT: Order! The honourable opposition leader has the floor. Order!

The Hon. D.W. RIDGWAY: Chuck her out! She should know better.

The PRESIDENT: Continue.

The Hon. D.W. RIDGWAY: My questions to the Minister for Automotive Transformation are:

1.Of the 33 direct suppliers and 700 indirect suppliers identified, how many has the state government engaged with and provided direct support to?

2.What leadership has the government shown in attracting private investment in this sector to benefit these businesses and their employees?

3.Will the government redirect the $1.6 million that is spent on political advertising campaigns towards providing a direct benefit to those who need it most?

Members interjecting:

The PRESIDENT: The honourable minister has the floor. Order! The honourable minister.

Members interjecting:

The PRESIDENT: Can the minister sit down? Sit down, please. Order! Totally unacceptable. I must say, it is more disconcerting when I get the rabble from the government side of the chamber. The honourable minister has the floor.

Members interjecting:

The PRESIDENT: Order! The honourable minister.

The Hon. K.J. MAHER (Minister for Manufacturing and Innovation, Minister for Automotive Transformation, Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation) ( 14:22 :27 ): I thank the honourable member for his question and interest in this matter. As the honourable member points out, there are great challenges facing the companies that have been engaged in the automotive sector. He specifically asks about tier 1 companies and he correctly points out that there are 33 tier 1 companies, that is, companies which supply things directly to Holden cars in South Australia. There are estimated to be some 700 tier 2 and 3 companies, and they range from supplying parts to go into the tier 1 companies to supplying other sorts of services that people in the automotive industry rely on.

I am advised that our automotive transformation task force has visited every single one of the tier 1 companies to understand what their business is, what they are looking to do immediately and what capacity they have to diversify post the closure of Holden. As the honourable member points out, there are programs the state government has put in place for our tier 1 and tier 2 and 3 companies to seek advice to put into place things that may help them diversify post the closure of Holden at the end of 2017.

Some companies have been successful and have been accessing some of the support the state government offers and, to a smaller relative extent, federal government contributions. Adelaide Tooling is one of those that I visited recently which, if my memory serves me correctly, with a state government grant to help diversify, is now making parts to support cabling in the mining industry. The government is very conscious of the effect this will have on industry, particularly in northern Adelaide, and will continue to work with companies to see how they can diversify and see what companies can continue on post the closure of Holden.


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