Jul 2, 2014

Age of entitlement lingers in one industry

The Australian aluminium smelting industry is dying, and the reasons have nothing to do with the Renewable Energy Target.

Bernard Keane — Politics editor

Bernard Keane

Politics editor

A manufacturing industry owned by foreign multinationals, employing only a small number of heavily unionised workers, in receipt of generous government subsidies justified because the industry is considered “important”: how will it fare now that the age of entitlement is over?

Based on the experience of the car industry, you would expect Treasurer Joe Hockey to be slashing its subsidies and chasing it out of the country, to the cheers of his backbench delighted the era of mollycoddling is over.

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Leave a comment

6 thoughts on “Age of entitlement lingers in one industry

  1. David Hand

    Energy is by far the largest cost in aluminium smelting and there are much better places in the world to do it. The New Zealand smelter at Bluff has it better. It brings in Australian bauxite to a place close to the massive Manapouri hydro facility constantly replenished by frequent rain.

    I say that the aluminium industry should not be subsidised.

  2. klewso

    Let’s just wait and see how deep their hypocrisy runs?

  3. zut alors

    If the subsidies are equivalent to $400M annually wouldn’t it be a cost cutter to pay the 5,000 smelting workers each $50K to stay home? An annual saving of $150M for a penny-pinching obsessed government.

  4. AR

    zut – and all that carbon from generating their free electricity. Actually, it’s not even just free, it is an impost on consolidated revenue.
    Bauxite is one of the most abundant & easily obtained minerals on the planet, aluminium is congealed electricity.

  5. Andybob

    Second time I’ve agreed with David Hand. I must be going mad.

  6. Sailor

    Andybob, I agree too. This time.

    Case-by-case, statement by statement.

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