Reports suggesting Alcoa is poised to close its Kwinana alumina refinery are alarming and demand
immediate action by the Cook Labor Government, according to WA Liberal Leader Libby Mettam.
“To have the Kwinana refinery close after 60 years of business in WA would be a blow to the state’s
economy and the Government should be holding urgent crisis talks with Alcoa to ensure that
operations are able to continue.” Ms Mettam said.
“The refinery provides almost 1,200 direct good technical, manufacturing industry and mining jobs
which generate around a further 5,000 jobs in the economy.
“This same Labor Government oversaw BP’s closure of its Kwinana refinery after 65 years of
operation with a loss of 650 jobs, the closure of Alcoa would be a damning indictment on the Cook
“The Cook and Albanese Governments seem hell bent on making operating conditions so difficult
we may lose yet another iconic industry.”
Shadow State Development Minister David Honey said Alcoa had previously warned that the
Kwinana refinery was a marginal asset which was beset by the added problems posed by State and
Federal Labor government red and green tape.
“Most of the refinery workforce lives around Kwinana, an area with usually higher than average
unemployment rates, that would make it difficult for these people to find similar work,” he said.
“These are good jobs that the State Government should be fighting for, instead, it is adding to the
Dr Honey said one of the major problems affecting the refinery was that it was being forced to use
lower-grade ores, making the operation marginal.
“The reason they aren’t mining higher-grade ore is because the State Government has been
dragging its feet on granting the mining approvals,” he said.
“The government can, and must, intervene to facilitate the company’s access to higher-grade ore
“The other major factor weighing on company management is the Federal Labor Government’s net
zero schemes, which are effectively a carbon tax for large energy users.
“The Federal government’s path to net zero will threaten a lot more of our manufacturing sector than
just the Kwinana refinery.
“There’s no doubt these two government-driven factors are playing a major role in deciding on the
“In these circumstances, it is easier for the company to close down the operation rather than keep
butting heads with governments seemingly disinterested in helping to keep the jobs going for
another 60 years.”