My adjournment matter this evening is for the Minister for Environment, Climate Change and Water and is in relation to the recent announcement made by Alcoa regarding the closure of the Anglesea power station. In late May I joined the Minister for Energy and Resources at the Anglesea power station site, where we were taken on a comprehensive tour of the mine site and met with many of the mine workers.
The Anglesea power station has been in operation for over 45 years and has provided power for Alcoa’s Point Henry smelter. Whilst my adjournment matter is in relation to the environment, it is important to mention that at the forefront of everyone’s minds must be the 85 workers who will now be required to find new employment. Many of these workers have spent substantial amounts of their working lives at the power station, with the average years of service being more than 21 years for mine workers and 27 years for workers in the control room.
However, there are a number of apprentices at the site too, and we were told on the day that one of the first things that workers of longstanding service said after learning that the station will close was, ‘What about the apprentices? They must be looked after’, and I absolutely concur with that sentiment.
As the minister would be aware, the Anglesea community is very passionate about the environment and the protection of the Anglesea Heath. I would like to put on record my support for the work that ANGAIR — the Anglesea, Aireys Inlet Society for the Protection of Flora and Fauna — and Alcoa have done cooperatively for a number of years in the interests of the environment. I note that Alcoa has put on the public record that it has fully committed to a full environmental rejuvenation of the site. Many community members are very interested in the future of the mine site, particularly given its environmental value.
I ask the minister to inform me on the process that will be put in place for the protection of the Anglesea Heath now that Alcoa has announced the closure of the power station and indeed what the full rehabilitation of the site will involve.