Australian Left Review


Gavan Butler


A writer for The Financial Times of Lon d on r e c e n t ly summed up the international aluminium industry’s plans for investment in Australia as follows: “The aluminium investment plans for Australia amount altogether to some £1.5 billion, The sheer size of the total investment, together with the fact that nearly all the major companies are involved in Australian projects, marks a turning point in the development of the international industry.” (1) The local processing of bauxite (into alumina and aluminium) is not the only local processing activity to be created or expanded: there are to be substantial investments in petro-chemical plants using Australian natural gas as a feedstock; a large steel plant may yet be established in Western Australia (especially if a direct rail link is built between Western Australia and the Queensland coal mines); Tonkin of South Australia is talking of a uranium enrichment plant; and a coal liquefaction plant is not at all a remote possibility.



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