Union blames federal govt for Holden fall

The manufacturing workers union has blamed Holden quitting Australia on the federal government.
The manufacturing workers union has blamed Holden quitting Australia on the federal government.

The collapse of the Holden brand in Australia should be blamed on the federal government's lack of industry support, the national manufacturers union says.

General Motors announced on Monday that the brand will be axed by 2021.

The Australian Manufacturing Workers' Union told AAP the demise of the iconic car brand was at the hands of the conservative federal government, saying it has failed to back the industry.

"This is the end point of the Abbott and Hockey government goading Holden to leave in 2013," union representative Donherra Walmsley said on Monday.

"This conservative government ... have consistently refused to support Australian manufacturing and we are seeing the result of that, with over 600 jobs being lost at Holden."

But federal Industry Minister Karen Andrew defended what the government has done for the motoring sector.

"The Australian government in various forms has done a lot to support auto vehicle manufacturing here in Australia," Ms Andrews said.

"A lot of money has been given to these car manufacturers to try and support them here - that makes it particularly disappointing that they have made the decision that they have and that effectively Holden is walking away from Australia."

Union organisers will go to Holden's maintenance sites and the proving grounds in Lang Lang to meet with workers and union delegates in the wake of the news.

It is understood the bulk of Holden jobs may be culled in Victoria from the design department and staff at the proving ground, with some maintenance jobs expected to remain to service the existing cars.

This is the final nail in the coffin for the Holden brand after local manufacturing operations shut in 2017.

Australian Associated Press