Reckless Greens want to put thousands out of a job

Victorian Greens Leader Greg Barber this morning showed just how reckless his party is when it comes to energy security.

Mr Barber told journalists on the steps of Parliament House this morning the Portland smelter should be powered down to free up energy supply.

Member for South West Coast Roma Britnell said it shows the Greens have no idea when it comes to energy policy.

“Rather than come up with sensible and realistic options to ensure energy security, the Greens would rather close the smelter down and put thousands of people out of work,” Mrs Britnell said.

“The Portland Smelter employs 600 people directly and supports an estimated 2000 jobs in the wider south-west community.

“What does Mr Barber propose those people do to earn a living if the smelter were to close?”

“Mr Barber is right, we need energy supply security, but his suggestion of closing down a major employer to achieve it is simply wrong and reckless.”

Mrs Britnell said Victorian’s were struggling with energy price rises, with many homes and businesses in her electorate reporting enormous increases – some up to 300 per cent.

“It’s not just households doing it tough, our hospitals are struggling to find the extra money to pay their power bills,” she said.

“Portland District Health has had an 80 per cent increase in energy costs and if no money comes from the department to help, they may be forced to cut services to make savings.

 “It’s time for real action on energy prices so Victorian families aren’t left out in the cold, businesses aren’t forced to close and hospital don’t have to cut services.”

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