Aluminium industry at “crisis point” due to carbon tax, RET

The peak lobby group for the country’s aluminium
industry has argued that Parliament should do away with the carbon tax and
renewable energy subsidies during this session.

The Australian Aluminium Council has said the federal
government should “seize the opportunity” and Senators should “stop playing
politics with jobs and businesses”.

“Will the carbon tax be quickly repealed,
and will the burden of renewable energy subsidies be lifted?” asked the AAC’s executive
director Miles Prosser in a statement.

“Australia’s refineries and smelters are
fighting for survival. The Senate must quickly allow the repeal of the
carbon tax or explain why their posturing and delay is worth risking decades of
investment and thousands of jobs.”

The renewable energy target is currently under review by a government appointed panel.

Prime minister Tony Abbott last year said that the current target – 20
per cent of electricity to be generated by renewable by 2020 – was impeding
Australia’s ability to be “an
affordable energy superpower
.”

Subsidies paid to the RET and the carbon tax were needless and punitive,
argues the AAC, and smelter operators – such as Boyne Smelters – have argued
they are under pressure through the costs they suffer under paying RET
subsidies.

“After the current partial exemption the RET still costs [Boyne]
around $25 million per annum,” said the company’s Joe Rae earlier in the month.

Image: International Rivers