LNP calls for support for Boyne Smelting jobs

10 Feb 2012 11:44 AMJann Stuckey

10 February 2012

LNP Shadow Minister for Manufacturing Jann Stuckey today called on the Bligh government to support local Queensland smelting jobs in the wake of concerns over the future of the Point Henry aluminium smelter at Geelong.

Ms Stuckey said local industries were facing unprecedented pressures from international competition, a high-riding dollar and increasingly costly government red tape, taxes – including Labor’s carbon tax – and compliance costs.

“The Boyne Smelters are vital to Gladstone and Queensland directly providing more than 1100 jobs and hundreds of others in contracting,” Ms Stuckey said.

“Boyne Smelters produce more than 550,000 tonnes of aluminium a year – nearly 30 per cent of total national production.

“While international issues may be outside our control, the tired, 20-year Labor government should be doing much more to minimise local cost pressures from unnecessary red tape and compliance costs.

“Aluminium smelting uses enormous amounts of base-load electricity and we need to ensure Queensland base-load power does not become internationally uncompetitive through Labor’s carbon tax.

“Unlike Labor, the LNP is committed to cutting red tape and compliance costs to generate wealth and real jobs in minerals processing and value-adding,” Ms Stuckey said.

“We’re committed to supporting industry to create more jobs, more skilled jobs, to cut Queensland’s jobless from the current 5.8 per cent to 4 per cent in six years.

“Our action plan involves growing a four pillar economy – focusing on tourism, agriculture, resources and construction; lowering the cost of living for families by cutting waste; delivering better infrastructure and better planning; revitalising frontline services for families; and restoring accountability in government.

“It’s time for change. It’s time to get Queensland back on track,” Ms Stuckey said.