Business

O’Dowd in push to save jobs from RET costs

Tony Abbott at the Boyne Smelter
Tony Abbott at the Boyne Smelter David Sparkes

FLYNN MP Ken O'Dowd is pushing to have two emissions-intensive Gladstone industries exempt from the national renewable energy target to ease the pressure management faces in saving costs.

Cement Australia and Boyne Smelters Ltd have had to pay major costs to prop up the renewable energy industries but Mr O'Dowd has questioned "at what cost"?

BSL has already cut costs by not replacing staff leaving through natural attrition and shutting down part of its operations earlier this year, but there's still a fair difference in the $25 million the RET costs the smelter annually.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott last week suggested he could cut the entire RET, but the government is waiting on the Dick Warburton review.

Mr O'Dowd has been working behind the scenes before parliament returned this week to ensure Environment Minister Greg Hunt and Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane were aware of the impact the RET was having on Gladstone's industries and, in turn, its people.

And for what, Mr O'Dowd asked.

"The smelter is propping up these renewable industries of which none of them are up here and we see none of those jobs either," he said.

He said it was putting our companies on an uncompetitive footing to the rest of the world.

"The smelter has cut back on emissions and they're still whacked with $25 million a year fees," he said.

"Two smelters have already closed - we can't afford to have Boyne Smelters go too.

"I wouldn't go to a complete banning, but one thing's for certain is the impact it's having on industry and we need a 100% exemption here."

RENEWABLE ENERGY TARGET

 The RET is designed to ensure Australia gets 20% of its electricity from renewable sources, like wind and solar, by 2020, but it's set to deliver about 28% due to an unexpected fall in electricity demand.

 Mr O'Dowd has led a group of 28 Coalition MPs with major aluminium-producing operations in their electorates, or concern for the industry, to endorse a call for aluminium production to be totally exempted from the scheme from July next year in a move that would save it up to $80 million a year.

Topics:  boyne smelter, jobs, ken odowd, renewable energy target



'Is it a sign?' Couple commit to wedding before meteor strike

Richard and Lynda Roundhill heard the boom and felt the tremor during Monday night's event.

Finding the lighter side of meteor mystery

LISTEN: 'Fireball meteor' causes tremor in 'super sonic boom'

"FIREBALL meteor" came close to Gladstone last night, expert says.

Flashing light, boom, tremor: What we know so far

In this 30 second exposure, a meteor streaks across the sky during the annual Perseid meteor shower as a photographer wipes moisture from the camera lenses Friday, August 12, 2016 in Spruce Knob, West Virginia.

What's been ruled out as the cause of flashing light, boom.

Local Partners

Naomi Watts and Liev Schreiber split

Naomi Watts and Liev Schreiber

Naomi Watts and Liev Schreiber have split after 11 years together.

Why Chris Hemsworth was spotted wearing nail polish

RED CARPET: Do you think Chris Hemsworth is the typical unpolished but well-natured Aussie bloke?

He's now officially the best bloke in Australia

Testament's new album is a concept album

ROME, ITALY- JULY 27, 2016: Testament photographed at The Roman Collisseium in Rome, Italy on July 27,2016. Gene Ambo

Testament to release new album

'Baby' recreates famous Nirvana cover shot 25 years later

The baby from Nevermind album has recreated the iconic cover shot.

PREVIEW: Luke Cage origin story is a strong addition to MCU

Mike Colter in a scene from the TV series Marvel's Luke Cage.

MIKE Colter stars as latest Marvel superhero to get his own series.

Kate goes down fighting in heated Survivor elimination

Australian Survivor contestant Kate Campbell.

YOGA teacher's 'good guys' alliance fails to get off the ground.

$40million hotel, shops development project for Mackay

Mt Pleasant hotel and retirement accommodation, proposed at 194-202 Malcomson St.

$40m development to take Mackay to 'the next level'

'Flex muscles': Gladstone suburb drops $120K

BUYERS are scooping unprecedented deals by “flexing their muscles at the table”

Few bright lights for property after mining downturn

The Gladstone Regional Council wants associated LNG companies like Bechtel to be apart of the EIS housing accommodation strategy from the outset of the projects and not mid-way through.

Tannum Sands continues to write its own property success story

Property 200m from ocean selling for just over $100K

BEACHCOMBER PARK: Work has started on a new $19.2 million development at Toogoom.

The estate's developer is offering huge discounts for early buyers.

UPDATE: Former rodeo champ's sale rained out, now back on

Larkhill local Ken Consiglio is having an auction of most of the things on his property.

'People kept showing up and we had to turn them away'

Market opens as Gladstone sellers drop prices to force sale

VENDORS are dropping the price on houses to force a sale.