Who is killing aluminium smelting in Australia?

by Tony Wood

Long before the looming spectre of carbon pricing, aluminium smelting is falling victim to commercial reality. Like other light metals manufacturing, aluminium smelting has been politically charged for decades. The facts of the recent closure of NSW’s Kurri Kurri aluminium smelter and the cost pressures that this and other Australian businesses face are reasonably clear. Interpretation of the facts and the overlay of politics make things less clear, and shining some light might be useful. Tony Wood looks at how the long-term perspective of carbon pricing will be a reality beyond current political positioning, and what impact this may have on Australian industries.