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Bob Katter as Grim Reaper protesting Holden is so 2020

By Tim Robson, 19 Jun 2020 Car News

This is peak 2020: Bob Katter as the Grim Reaper protesting Holden

Just when you thought 2020 had nothing left to give, we present the Federal Member for Kennedy brandishing a plastic sickle for Holden

So today Bob Katter showed up on the lawn of Parliament House dressed as Death, protesting the closure of Holden.

If 2020 could let up for just a minute, that would be great.

The... outspoken? Unusual?... member for Kennedy in Queensland is apparently cranky that Holden's demise is due to the 'free market', and that we should be 'Holden onto Aussie jobs'.

"In the next 12 months, no matter what happens, the government will buy 40,000 cars... when this started off it was unthinkable a government would buy a car from overseas," Mr Katter told reporters.

"If you want to double the value of the dollar we can all go and buy cheaper lollipops but it doubled the value of a Holden compared with a car from overseas.

"We've got to do some reaping here." 

I'd have to check my calendar, but Holden announced it was shutting its doors four months ago, and closed the gates on its last local manufacturing plant in 2017.

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"The Government is in control of which industries live and which industries die," said Katter in a tweet. "If every government car was built in Australia, Holden would be in a very different position today."

He also called for the government to support "the re-establishment of an Australian car manufacturing industry" as a way out of "COVID economic depression", and that all government cars are made here.

I mean... really? You would think that this guy would have some semblance of the carnage that various governments have wreaked on heavy industry in Australia, given he's been in parliament for almost 50 years.

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Sure, the government also did its part by implementing regulations to ensure that government departments did buy Australian where possible, but with the demise of the three companies, that's gone the way of the Falcon and the Commodore.

And as well-intentioned as plans like H2X's notion to build 20,000 hydrogen cars are here, they aren't going to be bought en masse by government bodies.

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And let's not forget Joe Hockey giving GM the perfect excuse to pull the pin on its Australian operations by using parliamentary privilege to berate the carmaker.

No... this is just a sad stunt from an irrelevant politician who is bizarrely late to the Australian manufacturing wake.