Shorten slams Abbott to failing to keep Holden in Australia

OPPOSITION Leader Bill Shorten tried to censure Prime Minister Tony Abbott for "failing to do everything he could to keep Holden in Australia", during heated debate in parliament today.

The final sitting day of 2013 saw fiery debate over the announcement on Wednesday that Holden would close its Australian doors in 2017.

Mr Shorten said Mr Abbott had failed to meet with Holden executives at all since taking office in September.

But while Mr Abbott did not deny the allegation, he said Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane was in regular contact with Holden ever since the Coalition took office.

He said he was devastated by Holden's departure, and the government would soon be announcing a range of initiatives to help workers move to new jobs.

The future for 2900 Holden workers in Adelaide and Melbourne remains in doubt after 2017, as many may face unemployment queues after the closure.

Holden executives have also promised to do what they can to help employees transition to new careers once the company pulls out of Australia.

Topics:  abbott government bill shorten holden ian macfarlane manufacturing tony abbott

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