Following media reports that the aluminium industry may be exempted from the Renewable Energy Target (RET), efforts are being made to ensure that the government also considers extending similar exemptions to the cement Industry.
Queensland LNP Senator Ian Macdonald has been urging Government Ministers to give Australian cement manufacturers a level playing field with their overseas competitors.
“I wrote to the Environment Minister and the Industry Minister earlier this year urging them to provide exemptions from RET across 100% of the cement manufacturing process,” said Senator Macdonald.
“The cement industry is an important industry in Queensland and indeed throughout the rest of Australia. A great number of jobs and construction activity in my home state are in one way or the other reliant on the viability of the cement industry,” he said.
The aluminium industry has successfully lobbied the federal government for industry-wide exemptions, though no legislation has yet been introduced into the parliament.
“I am encouraged that common sense seems to have prevailed in the case of the aluminium industry and I urge the Prime Minister and the Industry Minister to take the same view with cement” said the Senator.
Previously the cement industry has been given exemptions or compensation for 50% of their electricity use which relates to the manufacture of clinker. The other part of the process involves converting clinker to cement and also involves a very heavy use of electricity.
“It is essential that we put the Australian cement industry on a level playing field with its foreign competitors, particularly relating to the input costs of electricity” said Senator Macdonald.