Thursday, July 7, 2011

First victim of the Carbon Tax? Umm, no.

Read this:

Holding Statement
Cement Australia to close Kandos manufacturing facility
Cement Australia has announced it will close its manufacturing facility at Kandos in New South Wales. The plant will be closed in an orderly and safe manner over the next four months.
Chris Leon, Cement Australia CEO and Managing Director said “it has been a challenge for some years for the Kandos operation to remain viable due to a combination of dated, inefficient technology and high fixed costs”.

“Despite almost $10 million invested in 2007 to improve the plant, attracting and retaining high quality, experienced professionals to Kandos also continues to be a challenge as the next wave of skills shortage looms,” he said.

“In addition, for trade exposed industries such as ours there are the additional pressures of the high Australian dollar. Current regulation and government imposts are also an increasing burden on manufacturing and the carbon tax will only exacerbate this.”

“Finally, the Kandos plant is also considerable distance from the market it serves and this unfortunately further undermines its competitiveness,” said Mr Leon.

Cement Australia’s 98 employees at the Kandos site will be supported through the transition and will receive their full entitlements. 34 people will be offered another role within the company.”
So how does this get reported?

Cement plant closure devastating for Kandos
07 Jul, 2011 03:02 PM
The first casualty of Labor’s carbon tax has been announced with Cement Australia
declaring the closure of the Kandos cement plant within the next four months.
Federal Member for Parkes Mark Coulton said this is a devastating day for the community of Kandos and for the 100 families that rely on this plant for a living.
“For nearly 100 years the Kandos cement plant has been the lifeblood of the local community – it has employed generations of locals and sustained a viable and vibrant economy,” he said.
“The fear is now that Julia Gillard’s carbon tax has not just proven to be the nail in the coffin of the plant, but the town of Kandos itself.
Mr Coulton said that while there were a number of factors that have contributed to the closure, none were more significant than the economic threat provided by the looming carbon tax.
“The 98 employees of the cement plant are the first victims of Julia Gillard’s carbon tax. These people are third and fourth generation workers in this plant. There is no
comfort for these people as they will now lose their jobs and the entire community of Kandos loses the reason for why it exists,” he said.
“Not only has Julia Gillard forced the closure of this plant, she has also threatened the closure of an entire town.
“There is no denying that cement manufacture is a high energy use and a high emitting industry. However, the irony here is that we have a situation where as a result of the carbon tax Australian industry will be forced to import cement from countries with far less stringent environmental controls that create far higher levels of carbon emissions during production.
"The people of Kandos have every right to feel betrayed by the Prime Minister. She must now explain to them why she has helped shut the plant that has sustained their community for generations."
The Kandos cement plant was established in 1914 and has been the backbone of the Kandos community and a major employer. The plant produces 450,000 tonnes of cement each year.
“This is a prime example of the carbon tax moving our jobs offshore and making our
industry uncompetitive,” Mr Coulton said.
“It is not like Australia is going to be using any less cement; it is not like we are not going to stop building roads, buildings or the thousands of other things that we use cement for.
“What it means is that we have exported the jobs from Kandos to a country
somewhere else that does not have restrictive legislation and higher charges.”

Of course sniffing various rats in all this I dug a little deeper, The Land has done a straight copy and paste from Mark Coultons press release. While the closure of the plant is bad news for Kandos and surrounding towns the Cement Australia press release indicates the plant was not viable even without the addition of a carbon tax.

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