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GOVERNMENT ‘SHOULD SUPPORT ELECTRIC-CAR MANUFACTURING’

10-10-2015
by 
in 

The South Australian Greens are urging the government to support electric-car manufacturing when Holden's Elizabeth plant closes in 2017.

New Greens Senator Robert Simms says companies that want to produce electric cars should get access to Federal Government money to get started.

Senator Simms is planning to introduce a bill to the Senate this month to allocate $800 million from the $2.5 billion Automotive Transformation Scheme for green-car manufacturing.

He told News.com.au that SA was perfectly positioned to become a leader in the electric-car market.

"This is a great opportunity to keep the car industry alive and get a piece of the action because we know the electric-car industry is going to be a multi-billion dollar industry," he said.

"Manufacturing has been a big part of the region over the years and I would hate to see those skills and experiences lost.

"We should be a state that makes things and in the north that's particularly important."

Senator Simms said Holden's plant and equipment could be used by a new manufacturer.

Northern Economic Leaders co-chair Kelvin Trimper said any opportunity to provide support to businesses and make use of existing skills and equipment would be welcomed.

"The facility is available, subject to agreement from Holden and people agreeing on transition prices for the assets, (so) that's certainly an option," Mr Trimper told the Portside Messenger.

"I don't think we're in a position where you say no to any idea, but people have to take that idea and work out whether it's sensible, feasible, workable and financially viable."

A spokesman for Industry Minister Christopher Pyne said the Greens' plan was ill-conceived. "(The proposal) once again shows they don't have a proper grip on industry policy," he said.

"The Automotive Transformation Scheme does not limit component manufacturers to specific technologies or to supplying only Australian motor-vehicle producers in order to be eligible for assistance."

Senator Simms’ bill would need to be passed by the Lower House where the Government has a clear majority.

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