NSW’s manufacturing sector is facing a mass job loss if the Government does not ease restrictions on coal seam gas (CSG) activity, a Hunter Valley aluminium waste recycling plant has warned on Thursday.
Weston Aluminium, which specialises in processing all forms of aluminium bearing by-products from the aluminium industry, said the viability of its remelting plant had already been compromised by rising gas and electricity price hikes, but warned that the worst was yet to come with prices tipped to double within three years due to gas shortages.
Garbis Simonian, the company’s Managing Director, told the ABC that the Government must act quickly to prevent mass job losses in the sector.
“You know the solution is for the government to start allowing coal seam gas development in selected areas. New South Wales is a large state and there are a lot of areas that aren’t critical for agriculture, like industrial areas, power station buffer zones. There are a lot of areas where they can explore for gas with minimal impact,” Mr Simonian said.
He said procrastination on CSG projects was hurting local industries and called on the Government to show courage by approving CSG projects.
“The scientific evidence is out there from the independent scientist, that it is just another extractive industry that can be managed. Now they’re managing it in Queensland, they’re managing it in the United States. It has dragged America out of recession and it has saved their economy, so why are the politicians procrastinating,” he said.
“They’ve been elected for making decisions that are good for the community, the overall community. Not for a small minority, but the majority of the state and business, and the people in the Hunter need jobs. We need to work. We don’t all want to go on the dole and this is the problem. So what we need is some courage and vision from the state government.”