For the second time in two months Richard Marles has swallowed the party line and voted against blue collar workers in Geelong.
The Coalition last night moved amendments to Labor's Renewable Energy Target (RET) legislation to sustain profitability in the aluminium industry and protect blue collar workers in cities such as Geelong.
The Hansard of last night's proceedings records that Mr Marles voted against Coalition amendments that would provide aluminium smelting – Australia's most energy intensive industry – with a full 90 per cent exemption from RET liabilities.
Under Labor's plans, aluminium smelting will only be given a partial 55 per cent exemption from RET liabilities therefore leaving the industry left with a $700 million renewable energy bill over the first 10 years of the scheme.
Richard Marles sits in Federal Parliament to represent the people, the workers and the businesses of Geelong. But last night's vote shows that he has failed to stand up for his electorate.
Hansard records from 4 June show Mr Marles again voted against his electorate in favour of Labor's flawed Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) that would have left the aluminium industry with a $3.3 billion carbon bill over the next decade.
On both occasions Mr Marles has sided with the Government and voted to rip millions upon millions of dollars out of Geelong's regional economy.
As it currently stands, the RET legislation will cost Alcoa's two Victorian smelters a staggering $100 million dollars over the next 10 years.
Alcoa's Victorian aluminium operations aluminium operation contributes $840 million to the Victorian economy and employs more than 1,800 workers.
Two weeks ago, Mr Alan Cransberg, Managing Director of Alcoa of Australia, told a Senate Economics Committee inquiry into RET legislation that:
Nationwide, our industry employs 17,000 people directly and another 50,000 indirectly. These are jobs in regional Australia. They are not fly-in fly-out jobs; these are jobs that build a community and make a community… We are also a major export earner for Australia. About 80 per cent of our products are sold into export markets. The total value of those exports of aluminium and alumina is about $11 billion, and 80 per cent of that is invested right back here in Australia… The combination of the RET and the CPRS could have an impact of up to $1 billion over the next 10 years for our industry…We are a global company—we have refineries on many continents and in many countries—and that sort of cost impact would make us significantly rethink about investing back here in Australia.
Mr Marles has failed his electorate and has left the task of protecting blue collar workers in Geelong to the Senate.
The Coalition will move in the Senate to sustain profitability in the aluminium industry and protect blue collar workers in cities such as Geelong", said Senator Boswell.