Jobs in Queensland are on the line if Prime Minister Tony Abbott does not exempt aluminium smelting from the Renewable Energy Target (RET), according to the Australian Workers’ Union.
The union released a statement today in support of Queensland Nationals backbencher, Ken O’Dowd’s, call for the exemption to be formalised.
National Secretary of the union, Scott McDine, said the ALP has already confirmed that they would support aluminium smelting being exempt from the RET.
“Industry is begging for certainty on the RET so it can invest with confidence in Australian jobs,” Mr McDine said.
“The Prime Minister therefore has a serious responsibility to negotiate a compromise with the Parliament as soon as possible.
“Labor is on board with exempting aluminium, so it’s now imperative that the Coalition gets on board and gets this legislation through.
“Bipartisan agreement is needed on the RET so that industry can invest safely beyond the electoral cycle.”
“The Australian aluminium industry is currently hanging in there precariously and is vital it is not lost,” Mr McDine said.
“Australia has traditionally delivered best practice in aluminium production and the industry provides quality jobs.
“There is absolutely no point in allowing the RET to drive aluminium production offshore where Australia’s high standards are not upheld.”