Monday, May 22, 2006

Australia aluminium smelter may become election issue

Monday May 22, 10:37 AM

The expansion of the Portland aluminium smelter in south-west Victoria
might become a political battlefield ahead of November's state

Environment Victoria says it is not against the Alcoa plant expanding,
so long as it does not cause an increase in greenhouse gas emissions.

The plant uses a large amount of Victoria's energy, which is mostly
generated from burning coal in Gippsland.

The group's Marcus Godinho says the Government's stance on the issue
will test its environmental credentials.

"It's difficult to see how this is going to pan out because at this
stage the Government is saying it's committed to not increasing the
amount of greenhouse pollution in the state, but we remain to see," he

"The Government made a terrible decision when it expanded the
Hazlewood power station, and it may make the same decision again with
Alcoa and dress it up with smoke and mirrors."


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