My question is to the Minister for Industry who is also the Minister for Energy and Resources. The minister will be aware that Portland Aluminium is crucial to jobs and the economy of south-western Victoria.
The Andrews Labor government needs to demonstrate to the workers who rely on Portland Aluminium that it will live up to the promise to fight for the Portland jobs.
The smelter employs more than 700 people directly and indirectly supports 2000 jobs, and it is the biggest single exporter in Victoria, making it an integral contributor to the Victorian economy.
On the evening of Wednesday, 23 March, there will be a community meeting with Alcoa, workers and residents to discuss the future of the smelter.
Given the Premier promised Victorians that every job is worth fighting for, will the minister be attending this important meeting on Wednesday, 23 March, to discuss the future of Portland Aluminium with the community?
Answer from The Hon Lily D’Ambrosio MP, Minister for Industry
The Andrews Labor Government is committed to growing and retaining jobs across Victoria, including in regional Victoria. Since being elected, the government has delivered strong job creation in regional Victoria with 11,900 new jobs created and the regional unemployment rate falling to 6.5 per cent
In terms of Alcoa, the Victorian Government is well aware of the importance of the smelter to the local economy but most importantly to the people of Portland.
We are engaging positively with Alcoa to ensure the best possible outcome. The issues surrounding the future of Portland Aluminium are complex and involve a number of internal and external factors.
The Victorian Government will not abandon Victorian industry and Victorian workers . We will stand with them and work closely with all relevant parties to reach a satisfactory resolution.