Pacific Aluminium announcement welcomed Thu 28 June 2012 Lara Giddings Premier Bryan Green Deputy Premier and Minister for Energy and Resources David O'Byrne Minister for Economic Development Download hi-res version Download hi-res version The people of George Town and Northern Tasmania can feel more confident about their future, with Pacific Aluminium today reaffirming its long-term commitment to Bell Bay. The announcement follows the successful renegotiation of power contracts with Hydro Tasmania, which resulted in a commercial outcome for both parties. "This announcement lifts the cloud of uncertainty that has been hanging over this region and gives the people of George Town and Northern Tasmania renewed hope that they have turned a corner," Ms Giddings said. "The fact that contracts have been secured until 2025 shows that Pacific Aluminium is here to stay and is an important sign of confidence for the Tasmanian economy. "It is also great news for the jobs of 500 Tasmanians, while I recognise that around 30 employees will be affected by the restructure. "I am advised these workers will be offered alternate roles or redundancies and that the restructure is necessary to secure the long-term future of the smelter against a backdrop of low commodity prices and the high Australian dollar. The news follows confirmation last month that BHP Billiton TEMCO's Bell Bay plant would remain in operation. "The State Government has been working closely with both Pacific Aluminium and BHP to ensure that they can remain in Tasmania, providing jobs for Tasmanians. "We recognise how important these businesses are, not only to the local region, but the entire Tasmanian economy. "It is extremely encouraging that both TEMCO and now Pacific Aluminium have indicated their Tasmanian operations will continue, despite ongoing challenges for mineral processors." Both the Premier and the Minister for Economic Development, David O'Byrne, have made multiple representations to the Commonwealth Government to discuss pressure on trade-exposed industries. "The State Government has been working with the Commonwealth and with industry to secure the long-term future of manufacturing in Tasmania," Mr O'Byrne said. "While we cannot influence all factors, including global commodity prices, today is an example of how governments can work with industry to secure jobs." The Minister for Energy and Resources, Bryan Green, commended Hydro Tasmania and Pacific Aluminium on their constructive and responsible approach to negotiations. "I am pleased that the parties have been able to work together to achieve a commercial outcome," Mr Green said. "This announcement confirms that Tasmania will play an important role in the mining and minerals sector for many years to come. "Mining companies are continuing to invest, explore, mine and process at record levels in Tasmania. "Mining exports represent more than half Tasmania's international exports and metallic ore exports have reached a new record, up 22 per cent."