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Holden quits: Acting PM booed over Holden decision

Truss worthy: Warren Truss passed the word to parliament that Holden will cease operations.

Labor MPs say Coalition forced GM Holden out of Australia

Holden logo11 Dec 2013

ACTING prime minister Warren Truss was booed and jeered by Labor MPs when he rose in parliament today to make a statement about Holden’s decision to quit Australian manufacturing in 2017.

The mood from the opposition benches was summed by Labor’s industry spokesman Senator Kim Carr, who tweeted: “The Abbott government has succeeded in forcing Holden out of Australia. Workers have been sacrificed for reckless Coalition policy.”

Mr Truss, who is filling in for prime minister Abbott who has been attending the Nelson Mandela memorial service in South Africa, said he had spoken by phone with Holden chairman and managing director Mike Devereux who had broken the news of the car-maker’s decision.

“Like all members in the house, we regret the fact that GM is to phase down its operations in this country,” he said.

"Holden has been an iconic brand for Australians, a part of our heritage. It's meant a great deal to Australians over several generations.

"Many of us have had the pleasure of travelling and owning Australian-built Holdens and it is a pity that that will not continue into the future.

"Now this government had indicated right from the very beginning that we wanted Holden to remain manufacturing cars in Australia.

"We've wanted …we want to have a strong and active motor vehicle manufacturing industry in Australia."The announcement by Holden came just 24 hours after federal treasurer Joe Hockey demanded General Motors come clean on its plans for Holden’s manufacturing centres in Adelaide and Melbourne.

Mr Hockey was the driver of the Coalition’s decision to chop $500 million from government assistance to the car manufacturing industry, which critics regard as a key cause of GM’s decision to shot its factory doors.

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