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31 October 2019

What is Daniel Andrews doing to back Portland Aluminum workers?

In Question Time today, Member for South West Coast Roma Britnell questioned why Daniel Andrews is refusing to fight for jobs at Portland Aluminum.

When he was opposition leader, Daniel Andrews said every job was worth fighting for and the state government has a role to play.

Last week, when the future of Portland Aluminum was again put in the spotlight, The Premier through a spokeswoman said the situation was a matter for Alcoa – completely at odds with his previous statements. In Question Time, The Premier would not be drawn on what the government has done to make good on its promise that it would work with Alcoa to help the smelter remain sustainable when the current energy contract expires in 2021.

“Daniel Andrews can talk all he wants about what the government has done previously, but the fact is we are fast approaching the end of that deal and the smelter’s future is again under a cloud because of high energy costs,” Ms Britnell said.

“The Premier’s refusal to speak about what the government is doing to fight for ongoing jobs at Portland Aluminum is alarming. He told workers in 2017 he had their backs, but had failed to demonstrate how he is backing them beyond the initial rescue package.

“Portland and the south-west needs the smelter to stay open – too many families rely on those jobs and the flow on jobs to put food on the table and pay the bills.

“It’s time for Daniel Andrews to do what he said and back the workers at Portland Aluminum and the wider south-west community.”