State Liberal Leader Steven Marshall is in Leigh Creek today to talk to local residents and businesses about the closure of Alinta Energy’s operations.
In June, Alinta Energy brought forward its deadline to close the Leigh Creek coal mine, saying it would not operate beyond March 2017.
The State Liberals today reiterate calls for the Minister for Manufacturing to accelerate the State Government’s response to the looming closure of Alinta Energy’s operations.
“Alinta’s closure will have a devastating impact on the Port Augusta and Leigh Creek communities and it is important to hear directly from people in those regions about what they want for the future,” said Mr Marshall.
“The Government needs to start planning for this closure now and have a substantial jobs package in place before that date.
“The people of regional South Australia have long been ignored by successive Labor Governments.”
South Australia has the highest unemployment rate in the nation, and in June, the SA Outback region lost 1,000 jobs and the Barossa, Yorke, Mid-North region lost 1,500 jobs,
“What is concerning is that these job losses are before the closure of the Port Augusta power stations and Leigh Creek coal mine,” said Mr Marshall.
“We know that these closures will also have a negative impact for other jobs in the region.
“It is imperative that the Government appreciates the gravity of the situation facing Leigh Creek residents and makes the development of a coherent response to these devastating job losses its number one priority.
“The Government cannot afford to be asleep at the wheel as a major employer in South Australia implements plans to shed a significant number of jobs.”