Smelter: Rates deal not decided

Portland's aluminium smelter.

Portland's aluminium smelter.

Council rates for Portland Alcoa’s aluminium smelter are still being decided, the company says.

It also said reports that its rate was set to be reduced by 32 per cent were incorrect.

Glenelg Shire chief executive officer Greg Burgoyne previously said the rates for the smelter in the draft 2017/2018 budget represented a reduction of 30 per cent on the previous year.

The company said its rates agreement was due to expire in 2017, and it was in discussions with council about a new four year deal.

“Since 1998 to 2017 the smelter’s annual rate payment has steadily increased from $2 million to $4.5 million or approximately 25 per cent of the council’s total rate revenue,” a statement said.

“In addition to the rates payment, Portland Aluminium makes a significant economic contribution to the Glenelg Shire including approximately $65 million annually in employee salaries and wages and $62 million in maintenance contracts.”

In January the smelter was promised $30 million from the federal government to ensure its future after a subsidised power deal ended and an outage occurred.

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