Weatherill turns his back on Port Augusta

On the day the Port Augusta power station closes the State Liberals have slammed the Weatherill Government’s callous disregard for the workers and the wider community.

“It is disgraceful that the Weatherill Government has failed to deliver an economic rescue package for the local community to counter the impact of losing 500 employees and contractors jobs at Alinta’s Leigh Creek coal mine and Port Augusta power stations,” said Shadow Minister for Regional Development Dan van Holst Pellekaan.

“Jay Weatherill needs to explain why the people of Port Augusta and Leigh Creek are not worthy of the same support he is offering the people of northern Adelaide to cope with the closure of Holden.

“Weatherill’s indifference to the plight of the people of Port Augusta and Leigh Creek is particularly perverse given his government’s over-zealous promotion of wind power has driven these people out of work.

“Alinta has been forced to close its operations because Jay Weatherill’s foolish energy policies have made the operation of the Northern Power station unviable.

“Yet having cost these people their jobs and their economic security the Premier has the gall to offer a pitiful $1 million in new money for the region.

“The communities of the Upper Spencer Gulf need a bold, substantial package to begin re-orientating the economy in the face of the devastating job losses at Alinta.

“It is totally unacceptable that the Weatherill Government has committed a miserly $1 million in new money for the 500 employees and contractors losing their income when Alinta closes.

“The other $7 million the Weatherill Government is offering was committed to regional South Australia before Alinta announced it was going to shut down its operations in the Upper Spencer Gulf.

“The Weatherill Government has had 10 months to develop a plan but to date the only job created  has been for former Labor Minister Jane Lomax-Smith to oversee ideas for future business ventures in Leigh Creek.”