Holden and Australian car manufacturing should be raised from the dead, demanded grim reaper Bob Katter. Dressed as Death, the outspoken Queensland MP was speaking to media from outside Parliament House.
Katter was bringing attention to his parliamentary push to re-establish car making in Australia. It was one of his more bizarre media stunts – and that’s saying something.
The MP intends to introduce a motion to parliament to get the federal government to again support a home grown car building industry as a way to create new jobs. Ford shut down Australian manufacturing in 2016, followed by Holden in 2017. This year, General Motors announced they would be retiring the Holden brand.
Death of Holden was ideological, says Katter
Katter appeared on Nine News from Canberra on Thursday clutching a reaper’s scythe and flanked by signs that read “Holden on to Aussie jobs” and “Free market = Aust’s car crash”. A convoy of classic Holden cars paraded around him and Parliament House at the same time.
The MP claimed Australia’s car industry closed down as a result of government policy and ideology. It should be the government that brings manufactures like Holden back from the dead, he proclaimed.
“Sixty-four per cent of the cars on Australian roads were bought because we made them here in Australia, before we became a parliament driven by ideology,” he told Nine News.
“Ideology is very, very dangerous. Ideology has led us into wars, its destroyed countries. There’s an ideology here that is akin to voodooism.”
“That parliament: they’re looking after their free market principles which equals of course their big, rich overseas owners of their political parties.”
Car revival easy, politicians cheap
To Bob Katter, the solution to a Holden come back is simple. He told Nine News he believes all cars bought through government contracts should be mandated to be made in Australia.
While emphasising the jobs that would be created, he made no mention of the billions in subsidies the government made to manufacturers to keep them viable before they eventually closed.
And Katter didn’t waste an opportunity to take a shot at his parliamentary colleagues.
“They say that China has got to a point where it’s not even going to worry about buying politicians in Australia,” he said.
“It’s bought everything else, but politicians are no longer worth buying. They come easy and cheap in Australia; and it’s true.”
Holden on to his cos-play: social media has fun with comic Bob Katter
Twitter users were straight on to Katter’s Holden grim reaper stunt, likening him to Emperor Palpatine from Star Wars.