The State Liberals are calling on the Minister for Manufacturing to accelerate the State Government’s response to the looming closure of Alinta Energy’s Port Augusta operations.
“The State Government’s task force needs to be planning for a March 2016 closure of Alinta Energy’s operations and have a substantial jobs package in place before that date,” said State Liberal Leader Steven Marshall.
Kyam Maher Manufacturing Minister, has suggested Alinta Energy's decision to narrow the timeframe for its plans to shut its Port Augusta operations doesn't add to the pressure to fill the looming jobs void (ABC 891)
“Once again the Weatherill Government is asleep at the wheel as a major employer in South Australia implements plans to shed a significant number of jobs,” Steven Marshall.
“There is every possibility that Alinta will close well before March 2017 and the Weatherill Government needs to a battle plan in place to ease the devastating impact these job losses will have on Port Augusta and Leigh Creek.
“Unemployment in the Upper Spencer Gulf is already 11.2 per cent and the communities of the mid-north will need a substantial jobs package in place before the closure of Alinta’s operations if they are to weather this coming storm.
“To date all the Weatherill Government has done is establish a task force develop a response to massive job losses that are racing towards us.
“Minister Maher needs to appreciate the gravity of the situation and make the development of a coherent response to these devastating job losses his number one priority.
“Premier Weatherill’s prediction that things will get worse before they get better will be painfully accurate if this is the quality of Labor’s response to South Australia’s job crisis.
“I hope the Minister’s lackadaisical response isn’t a reflection of the fact the Weatherill Government has already decided to cut the communities of the mid-north adrift.
“The people of regional South Australia have long been ignored by successive Labor Governments.”