SA to meet social cost of Holden closure

The South Australian government will provide money to help welfare organisations cope with the social impact of Holden’s decision to close its local vehicle operations.


Premier Jay Weatherill says it is imperative early action is taken to ensure issues associated with Holden’s decision to stop production by the end of 2017 do not create more problems in Adelaide’s northern suburbs.

The premier met with welfare groups on Wednesday to develop a strategy to help Holden workers who will lose their jobs, along with their families and workers in other companies and industries that might be affected.

That strategy will address the need for work experience and training as well as financial and psychological counselling.

“The uncertainty created from a loss of a job can have people turning to gambling, to violence in the home, to drug and alcohol abuse,” Mr Weatherill said on Wednesday.

“The service industry response can depend on how quickly we intervene and give people hope and security about their future.

“There’s no doubt there will have to be a very significant contribution from the state government.”

Anglicare SA chief executive Peter Sandeman said it was important for manufacturing industry workers to understand the community-service sector was working together to support them.

“That community needs to know that South Australia is behind them,” he said.

“The silver lining is that we have four years to plan.”

South Australian Council of Social Service executive director Ross Womersley said it was also important for the federal government to “step up to the plate” and provide money to support the broader communities affected by the loss of manufacturing jobs.

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