June 7, 2016: Constituency Question – Portland Aluminium

My question is to the Treasurer. Earlier this week the Treasurer ruled out open-ended engagements with Portland Aluminium over electricity subsidies for its smelter. My question is: what does this assistance look like? The Treasurer said he would find other ways to assist.

The smelter is the biggest employer in Portland, one of the major centres of my electorate of South-West Coast. For some time there has been talk the smelter would close. It is feared that without the electricity subsidy the smelter will follow the same path as the Point Henry smelter in Geelong and cease operations completely.

The staff are concerned about their futures and recently voted to take a wage freeze for the next 12 months. The smelter is responsible for 2000 direct and indirect jobs, almost a quarter of Portland’s population. Without the smelter the city will be decimated.

The Treasurer was quoted as saying the government would work alongside the company and consider other assistance measures. Again, what will this assistance look like?