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Weatherill cautious as Holden takeover plan gathers support

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Premier Jay Weatherill has poured cold water on the prospects of a Belgian tycoon taking over Holden’s car making plant in Adelaide.

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The proposal, from Guido Dumarey and his company Punch Corporation, has received enthusiastic support from federal Industry Minister Christopher Pyne.

Weatherill says he’s planning to meet with Dumarey but South Australians should be realistic about the likelihood of the takeover going ahead.

“There are a lot of questions here,” the premier told reporters on Wednesday.

“They’ve got to hand over their company, they’ve also potentially got to hand over some of their intellectual property. There are big issues about the remediation of the site.

“Before we start giving people some false hope about what may be happening to the Adelaide plant, we first need to get some clarity around some of these issues.”

Dumarey held talks with Pyne and Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull in Canberra on Monday.

Pyne plans to personally lobby General Motors about the proposal, saying he believed it could become a reality.

“Now having met with (Dumarey) a couple of times, I’m of the view that he can bring it off with government support, and of course with the acquiescence of General Motors who are the ones who are selling the plant,” he told the Seven Network.

Pyne has promised that the federal government’s Automotive Transformation Scheme would continue if Punch Corporation took over Holden’s Elizabeth plant.

Holden, which has not yet received a formal offer from Punch Corporation, remains on track to close its assembly operations by the end of 2017.

– AAP

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