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Driving ex Holden workers to the Green Triangle

South-west Victorian civic and industry leaders are leading a push for redundant car manufacturing workers in South Australia to be redeployed across the border. Source: ABC News

The Glenelg Shire Council, in south-west Victoria, has partnered with the Committee for Portland and Portland-based logistics company Porthaul to entice workers at Holden’s Elizabeth plant to relocate.

The Elizabeth plant is due to shut its doors in early 2017, leaving more than 1000 staff out of work.

Glenelg Shire CEO Greg Burgoyne said Porthaul currently had more than 50 vacant truck driving positions, with many other local logistics firms also recruiting.

“We have jobs across the board really in terms of supply chain, including truck drivers,” he said. “There’s also a lot of professional jobs that we can’t fill here like engineers and paraprofessionals that we’re looking for in the design and manufacturing space as well.”

More than 10 Green Triangle based timber companies are presenting at the job showcase in Adelaide today, alongside the Mount Gambier City Council and Regional Development Australia Limestone Coast.

Mr Burgoyne said the region was an ‘attractive option’.

“The cost of living here, the cost of housing, and the economics really stack up,” he said. “When you put that up against great work opportunities, we think that’s a pretty easy sell.”

Regional Development Australia Limestone Coast chief executive David Wheaton said forest industries had identified that 200 more skilled staff would be needed by the end of 2017 to cope with harvest demands.

“The expo will give us the opportunity to talk directly with the Holden workers and others in the auto chain affected by Holden’s impending closure,” he said. “We hope to match them with jobs and lifestyle to suit them and their families.”