Never have I seen someone so happy as the member for Paterson as he celebrates the loss of up to 350 jobs at Hydro Aluminium in Kurri Kurri in my electorate, a plant which has been losing literally millions of dollars every year for the past few years at least.
We have not had a carbon price for the last few years, but they have been losing money.
Why have they been losing money? There are three key factors: the very high Australian dollar—it is an export industry; very low prices for aluminium on the global market, on the metals exchange, an issue which is closing smelters right around the globe, and their inability to secure a long-term electricity contract with the guys from his party that run the New South Wales government.
So rather than rejoice in this event, I will be empathising and sympathising with both the firm and its workers and doing all I can to ensure that somehow Hydro might yet have a future—they have talked about mothballing—in the hope of reopening the plant which would more than likely be in a carbon price environment.
I will be working very hard, and I have already started working hard, to make sure those retrenched workers have every opportunity for alternative employment.