Inquiry rush to aid Holden
The government has accelerated its inquiry into the car manufacturing industry in a last ditch bid to convince Holden to stay.
It has given the Productivity Commission just seven weeks, demanding an interim report on the industry by December 20. It wants a final report by March 31.
The deadlines are tighter than those announced by Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane earlier this month, who spoke of an interim report by Christmas and a final report by June.
They would allow the reports to feed into both the budget process and the deliberations of Holden's owner, General Motors, which has indicated that if it is to stay in Australia it needs to make plans by Christmas.
The company is unlikely to announce a shutdown of its Adelaide and Port Melbourne operations until after the South Australian elections in March.
It had promised to keep manufacturing in Australia until 2022 under a $275 million "co-investment" promised by the Gillard and South Australian Labor governments.
The Coalition has not matched Labor's commitment and has promised only to hold a Productivity Commission inquiry before deciding what to do.