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Libs remain tight-lipped on Alcoa $42m bailout package
26/06/2012 - The federal opposition won't say if it will support a multi-million dollar bailout of Alcoa's aluminium smelter at Geelong.
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The Gillard government reportedly is set to announce a $42 million rescue package for Alcoa's Point Henry operations to help save 600 jobs.
Opposition industry spokeswoman Sophie Mirabella says the coalition can't comment on the plan until it was revealed.
"We will wait to look at the details," she told reporters in Canberra on Monday.
"(But) it is disappointing this government lurches from one disaster to the other with an ad hoc approach."
The opposition was sympathetic to the plight of workers but always had advocated a "consistent" approach to industry assistance whether it was for car manufacturers or other sectors.
The opposition wanted to asses how previous bailouts had added to workers' security but also the long-term viability of those industries.
The Victorian MP noted that Treasury modelling suggested the aluminium industry would be halved by 2050 under Labor's carbon price regime.
Mirabella said the government had to explain what plans it had for assisting Alcoa beyond the next two years.
Industry Minister Greg Combet has said the long-term viability of the Point Henry smelter depended on the projected value of the Australian dollar, world aluminium prices and state government electricity subsidies.
He has insisted Alcoa's difficulties had nothing to do with the carbon tax which starts in six days.
But opposition climate action spokesman Greg Hunt said the proposed bailout package could be equal to Alcoa's carbon tax bill which would be an "absurd situation".
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TOM GRIGG | 26/06/2012 13:45 1
THERE IS A NEED FOR STRUCTURAL CHANGE TO SECONDARY INDUSTRY. sTRUCTURAL CHANGE WHICH MAKES IT VIABLE TO BE A PRODUCER IN AUSTRALIA. rEMOVE THE REGULATION OVERHEADS, CUT OUT THE OH AND S FIASCO WHICH ADDS ABOUT 25% TO PRODUCTION COST WITHOUT REDUCING ACIDENTS ETC, CUT THE BEAURACRATIC OVERHEADS, GET AUSTRALIA INTO THE FOREFRONT OF MANUFSCTURING ETC ETC. wHERE ARE THE INTELLECTUALS WHO SHOULD BE STANDING UP FOR DEMOCRACY .rULING BY THE STATE FOR THE STATE.
dave d | 27/06/2012 13:11 2
Good onya Ju-liar - i get your sly little plan now - We bail out a US Company ALCOA - The yanks send us more troops in gratitude - and you use them to patrol our shores for illegal immigrants - and there was all of us thinking you were useless - you sly little dog you !!
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