New renewable energy deal welcomed in Gladstone
A BIPARTISAN deal struck over a new renewable energy target has been welcomed in Gladstone.
Federal Member for Flynn Ken O'Dowd said all involved should be congratulated.
Meeting with Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Boyne Smelters general manager Joe Rea on Monday night, Mr O'Dowd praised the efforts of the two major parties in finally working out a new agreement.
"This has been a long time coming, and I must admit I wasn't so confident that there would be a positive outcome, but this deal has just secured the future of trade-exposed industries in Gladstone," Mr O'Dowd said.
"Negotiations over the target were never-ending, but now both parties have come to the table and put the interests of workers first, and they should be congratulated for their efforts."
The new agreement will see the RET lowered from 41,000 gigawatt hours to 33,000GWh by 2020, with trade-exposed industries exempted from the target, and the two-year reviews into the scheme scrapped.
"This is a breakthrough for us, and industry in my electorate will definitely reap the benefits of the revised scheme, which is good for the region," Mr O'Dowd said.
Mr Rea said he was excited by the development.
"I'd like to thank you Ken, for fighting for us in the aluminium industry, and taking our case to Canberra to make sure we get a fair deal," Mr Rea said.
The previous target was estimated to cost the aluminium industry $80 million per year.
Mr O'Dowd said the new deal wasn't just a win for the aluminium industry, but all trade-exposed enterprises.
"We now have a total exemption for trade-exposed industries, and in a region such as Gladstone, where much of our economy relies on these industries, this is a terrific win."