National environment group Friends of the Earth (FoE) has welcomed today’s announcement by the Victorian Treasurer that the government will not extend the electricity subsidy to the Alcoa smelter in Portland.
FoE campaigns co-ordinator Cam Walker said “the subsidy has cost the state up to $4.5 billion, close to $140,000 per employee per year. The time has come to stop subsidising energy from coal-fired power stations”.
“Portland relies on the 700 jobs at the smelter, and it is essential that the government continue to support these jobs.
Western Victoria is already the powerhouse of the renewable energy sector in our state. The Andrews government has re-launched the roll out of renewables in Victoria, and we hope that the soon to be released Renewable Energy Action Plan will offer a clear vision of how this industry can be further developed. The government must support the development of an alternative economic future for the region.
There is also a need for Alcoa to commit to stand by the community and ensure these jobs are protected. The company has received massive subsidies from the tax payer for decades, which has helped generate healthy profits.”
Cam Walker 0419 338 047