Shorten gives kids Holden history lesson

Labor's Bill Shorten has told schoolkids the "silly old government" killed local car manufacturing. (AAP)

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has taken the time to tell primary school students about the "silly old government" and the demise of the car industry.

Bill Shorten has tried his hand at being a history teacher, telling school children about the "silly old government" that killed local car manufacturing.

The federal Labor leader met the primary school students next to a pair of postwar Holden FXs parked outside Old Parliament House on Thursday, the day before the Aussie car maker closes its last factory.

"Look over there, kids, at that old Holden. Australia used to be a country that built cars," Mr Shorten said.

"As of tomorrow, we're not building cars any more and the silly old government of the Liberals just couldn't give a stuff."

Labor says Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull's lack of comment on the closure is proof his government does not care.

But doom and gloom were not the only things on Mr Shorten's agenda for the class.

He assured his 20 pupils that manufacturing, engineering, maths and science jobs would still be around into the future.

Labor industry spokesman Kim Carr said closure of Holden's Elizabeth plant in South Australia could only be described as a national tragedy.

"If we had a Labor government, we would have kept the automotive industry in place and by now we'd be talking about the production of hydrogen cars," he told reporters.

Almost 1000 workers will be out of a job on Friday evening when the last Commodore rolls off the production line.

Source AAP

Stay up to date with SBS NEWS

  • App
  • Subscribe
  • Follow
  • Listen
  • Watch