Aussie Government throws Alcoa a $42M lifeline
The Australian Government has announced the offer of a $42M bail-out package for Alcoa’s beleagured Point Henry smelter in Geelong, Victoria. Tony Abbott, leader of the opposition Liberal Party of Australia, said the offer was little more than ‘hush money’ to help save 600 jobs at the plant.
If Alcoa accepts the bail-out, it is thought that job losses at Port Henry will be in the region of 60 and that suppliers and contractors adversely affected by Alcoa’s planned cost-cutting measures will also be compensated by the Australian Government.
Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard has accused Abbott of conducting a misleading campaign to discredit the Government’s planned carbon tax, which comes into force on Sunday 1 July.
Greg Hunt, shadow climate action spokesman, has pointed out that the Government’s bail-out package ‘almost perfectly matches’ what Alcoa will pay in carbon taxes over the next two years.
In February this year Alcoa announced a review of the Port Henry smelter in response to the collapse of global aluminium prices and the strength of Australian dollar. announced a review of the plant.