Friday 10th February 2017 0:00

Tomago aluminium smelter, in the NSW Hunter region, is on the verge of disaster with AGL threatening to cut power for four hours.


Workers at the plant will have to work in sweltering conditions to save the plant's equipment from destruction if AGL makes good on its threat to cut electricity to the smelter. A power outage at the Portland smelter in Victoria last year destroyed millions of dollars worth of equipment. 


Australian Workers' Union National Secretary Daniel Walton has called on Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to urgently pick up the phone to AGL and tell the energy giant not to cut the power. 


"AGL has its hand hovering above a button that could batter the Tomago aluminium smelter and put a wrecking ball through the regional economy," Mr Walton said. 


"Our information is that power could be cut this afternoon for a period of four hours. If that happens, the results could be catastrophic. 


"Workers will have to pull out all stops in sweltering heat to save the plant's equipment. They may not be successful. 


"Tomago is in a precarious economic position and it cannot afford for AGL to cut power. For AGL to do so would be an unimaginable act of bastardy. 


"If Malcolm Turnbull cares at all about regional jobs and regional industry he will be picking up the phone to AGL right now and telling them not to go through with their threat. 


"He has the power to intervene and if he doesn't the potentially results will be on his head.


“AGL almost destroyed the Portland smelter by opportunistically looking to gouge it after the catastrophic black out of last year. Only at the last minute did they change course. They cannot be allowed to belt Tomago as well."