The heat is on Daniel Andrews to support Portland workers

Yesterday the chief executive officer of a major shareholder of the Portland Aluminum smelter said its future hinged on a long-term power deal.

Speaking at an event in Melbourne yesterday Alumina Limited boss Mike Ferraro said “We would ideally like to find a solution. It’s well run it’s a relatively new smelter, it’s really important to the economy down there, but we need a power solution.”

He went on to say he did not believe a renewal of subsidies was in the best interest of the plant of its workers, saying only a long-term fix for rising power prices would solve the issues affecting Australian manufacturers.

Under Daniel Andrews’ failed energy policies not only do businesses have to compete with other states on power prices, but Victorian businesses can no longer rely on the certainty of supply.

Comments attributable to Roma Britnell, Member for South West Coast

There are 1200 people in the south-west region that rely on Portland Aluminum to put food on the table. Daniel Andrews’ reckless energy policies are putting their livelihoods at risk.

Daniel Andrews needs to get all parties to the negotiating table and work out a long-term energy supply deal that provides security for the workforce and the people of the south-west who rely on the smelter.

The workforce deserves security and cannot continue with a dark cloud over their heads fearful the smelter is going to close. It is not good for them and it is not good for economic confidence in the entire south-west region.

In 2012 Daniel Andrews said, “Every government needs to ensure that every job stays here in Australia” – by his own admission he has a role to play in ensuring these vital jobs for the south-west region are here long-term.

Comments attributable to Shadow Minister for Energy and Renewables Ryan Smith

Daniel Andrews has already shown a callous disregard for those workers at Hazelwood power station, the workers connected to Victoria’s timber industry and now Portland workers face an uncertain future.

With a draconian tax regime, planning applications that take forever to be approved, and energy prices that are the highest in the country, Daniel Andrews couldn’t do more to deter businesses from investing in Victoria.

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