The Federal Opposition leader is being irresponsible in his claims that the OneSteel plant in Whyalla will close should a price on carbon pollution be introduced, the Greens said today.
"Mr Abbott is creating unnecessary anxiety among South Australians by claiming that putting a price on pollution will lead to OneSteel closing in Whyalla," South Australian Greens Senator, Sarah Hanson-Young, said.
"Just as he was plain wrong in claiming petrol prices would rise, he is wrong in talking up a One Steel closure.
"How irresponsible for an alternative Prime Minister to destroy the reputation and asset value of a business for political purposes. Tony Abbott is single-handedly driving down the asset value of OneSteel.
"We should wait for the details in the package to be announced by the Prime Minister on Sunday before rushing to judgement on the fate of industrial towns such as Whyalla.
"The Greens and all members of the MPCCC understand the impacts of the rise in the Australian dollar on manufacturing and I am confident that this issue and One Steel's trade exposure will be taken into account.
"The package will contain assistance for households and industry as well as help for employees to retrain as part of transforming the economy to one which is less reliant on highly polluting, energy-intensive businesses.
"It will ensure that employees are not left behind, as has happened when other companies have shut their Australian operations and moved off-shore citing a strong dollar and high global commodity prices
"The Greens believe that Whyalla can be part of the transforming economy in which existing jobs are complimented by new jobs which will be created from renewable energy sources.
"Whyalla's location means it is perfectly placed to take advantage of the strong winds roaring off the Bight and harvest that wind to drive the companies and businesses of tomorrow."